We’ll continue our prospect profiles today with another running back that Virginia Tech is recruiting — Jalynn Sykes.
Sykes is listed at 5-foot-10 and 185-pounds. He’s a 3-star recruit based off the 247Sports Composite and is a top-50 player in Georgia. Sykes has nine reported scholarship offers, many from Power 5 programs. Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Minnesota.
Sykes plays for Rome High School in Georgia, one of the better programs in the state. Rome won a state title last season in the highest classification in Georgia. Rome is also home to Jaylen Griffin, who signed with Virginia Tech for the Class of 2017. Virginia Tech is recruiting other kids from Rome as well, mainly Jaylen’s brothers Ja’quon, Tyreke and Jamious.
After watching some highlights from Sykes, I’m rather surprised Sykes isn’t receiving interest from more schools. Sykes is listed at 185-pounds, but runs like he’s 200-plus. Sykes runs downhill regularly and isn’t afraid to take defenders head on. Sykes also shows great acceleration, allowing him to make house calls if he gets into the second level. Sykes also runs with great patience and balance.
The one thing Sykes will need to work on is his ability to contribute in the passing game. None of Sykes’ highlights show him catching screens or running routes out of the backfield, something that Virginia Tech wants to do more of in the future.
Rome runs out of the shotgun, which means Sykes has experience running in a similar fashion to Virginia Tech’s scheme. A lot of running backs at the high school level don’t run out of the shotgun and have to adapt to it. Travon McMillian ran well out the backfield under former offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, but had to adapt to running out of the gun under Brad Cornelsen. It’s the same transition Jalen Holston will have to make when he joins the team this summer, who plays fullback in the Wing-T offense.
Sykes was recently offered and has been high on Virginia Tech ever since. He hasn’t visited Blacksburg yet, but chances are the Hokies will get him on campus at least once this offseason. Sykes is very interested in Tennessee and has visited Knoxville twice. However, I expect other schools to join the mix.
Sykes is one of several running backs being recruited by Virginia Tech. The Hokies have placed an emphasis on Sykes, as well as Marcus Caldwell and Jamal Elliott. Virginia Tech is also recruiting Justus Woods, Mychale Salahuddin and Chris Curry.