FORT WAYNE – Nile Sykes persuaded Notre Dame to release him from his letter of intent.
Then the linebacker reached out to Indiana and found mutual interest with coach Kevin Wilson.
It clicked, and the Hoosiers announced the signing of Sykes on Friday, along with quarterback Danny Cameron.
Each is a true freshman and eligible to play this fall.
Sykes attended Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Illinois, and was first-team all-state as a senior when he had 80 tackles, 12 sacks and 22 tackles for loss.
Sykes was rated the No. 20 inside linebacker in the country by Rivals.com, a top recruiting service.
We recruited Nile hard, Wilson said in a statement issued by the team. He was a guy we really wanted. We are happy to have him and welcome him into our program.
As the Hoosiers switch to a 3-4 defense under first-year coordinator Brian Knorr, players like Sykes who can both stop the run and rush the passer are critical to the team’s success.
Cameron is the son of Cam Cameron, who coached the Hoosiers from 1997 to 2001 but never posted a winning record. Cameron, who played football and basketball at IU from 1979 to ’83, is now the offensive coordinator at LSU.
Danny Cameron played at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a senior, Cameron, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 200 pounds, led the school to a district title.
Danny and coach Cameron visited with us a couple weeks ago, Wilson said. We all feel confident that this is a strong fit. We are excited to welcome him back to Bloomington.
Wilson said Cameron adds depth to the quarterback position, though he is not considered an elite prospect.
The Hoosiers also landed Titus Booker, who posted on his Twitter account that he will attend Indiana in 2015.
Booker, listed at 5-11 and 172 pounds, played both offense and defense at Grayslake (Ill.) Community North High School.
Booker ran for 1,295 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging seven yards per carry as a senior.