Nile Sykes' career at Notre Dame ended before it really began, as the ESPN four-star linebacker from Montini Catholic (Lombard, Ill.) signed with Indiana, the Hoosiers announced Friday. He is eligible to play this fall.
Sykes arrived at Notre Dame in June with the rest of the Fighting Irish's freshman class. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder committed to Notre Dame in December, choosing the Irish over Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Syracuse and USF.
BlueandGold.com was the first to report Sykes' expected departure Wednesday, citing sources.
"After Coach (Brian) Kelly and Notre Dame released Nile from his NLI, he reached out to us," Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said in a statement. "We recruited Nile hard and he was a guy we really wanted. We are happy to have him and welcome him into our program."
Projected as an outside linebacker at Notre Dame, Sykes was one of five linebackers to sign with the Irish in their 23-man recruiting class of 2014, along with ESPN300 players Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Monee) and Greer Martini (Woodberry Forrest, Va./Woodberry Forrest), and three-star prospects Jonathan Bonner (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) and Drue Tranquill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll).
ESPN ranked Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting class No. 11 nationally.
"Just a great addition to our class," Kelly had said of Sykes on national signing day. "Really like Nile and his personality. He's got a great family. Mom and dad, really excited about being a part of the Notre Dame family. Listen, that matters, too. We want people that want to be part of Notre Dame and be part of our family, and to bring Nile and his family in.
"He's a versatile player," Kelly continued. "He can play inside, he can play outside. He is a physical player. He's got very good ball skills, instincts, and again, another versatile player in our front seven that's going to add to the depth of our football team."