Greg Pyke stars for Boys' Latin in football and lacrosse… (Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd…)
Boys' Latin's Greg Pyke is a quiet giant.
The 6-foot-5, 295-pound two-sport star looks down when answering questions — he's not embarrassed, just shy. Maybe he doesn't like talking about himself.
Maybe it's because he's young.
"What people fail to realize this is still a 17-year-old kid, but he is in a man's body," Lakers lacrosse coach Bob Shriver says.
As reserved as he is — Pyke won't even reveal his favorite kind of music — Pyke has made some noise with his athletic prowess.
Though he's a highly touted lacrosse recruit — InsideLacrosse.com rates him the No. 8 prospect in the nation — and claims his favorite sport is "whatever sport I'm playing at the time," Pyke says his place is on the college gridiron.
"I'm definitely going to play football," says Pyke, a coveted offensive lineman recruit. "Duke, Notre Dame and Maryland said I could come there and play both [football and lacrosse], but I'm just going to play football. One D-I sport is enough for me."
When not consumed by football, lacrosse or basketball (which Pyke acknowledges he's "not very good at"), the rising senior can be found playing video games with friends or enjoying his mom's cooking.
"He's not an introvert, but he's introspective. Absorbs everything," says his mother, Marcie.
A hulking figure — his coaches say his 295-pound weight is "light" — Pyke towers over his counterparts in the Lakers' weight room.
"I'm down to 295 because of lacrosse," Pyke says. "I should be up to 315 by the time football season rolls around."
Though Pyke looks the part of Division I offensive lineman, he's not doughy like some of his counterparts — solid is a better word.
He lacks the distinct waddle of many linemen. He's light on his feet.
That grace has served Pyke well in lacrosse, a sport he's much too big for by normal standards.
"He's got very good feet for a guy his size, and very good hands," Shriver says. "Those are good combinations to have."
Pyke's family has a history of playing Division I sports. His siblings — Lauren and Andrew — played lacrosse at James Madison and North Carolina, respectively. As for Pyke's sport of choice, his uncle, Jay Missar, played football at The Citadel in the mid-1960s and his grandfather, Joseph Missar, played at Villanova in the 1930s.
Pyke already has offers from a host of schools, including Penn State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia, West Virginia and Louisville. Pyke says Wake Forest, Tulane, Michigan State and Virginia Tech visited him on the same day.
He lists his top three as Penn State, Maryland and Virginia because he has visited those schools and has offers from them, but he is keeping his options open. Specifically, he's "enamored with" Alabama, his mother says.
Lakers coach Ritchie Schell says representatives from the Southeastern Conference powerhouse have stopped by the Boys' Latin campus to scout Pyke a few times. He plans to attend a camp in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on June 18.
Pyke says Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban won't earn an immediate commitment if an offer comes. He and his parents want to tour the campus and the academic facilities first.
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell says Pyke's lacrosse skills should improve his standing in scouts' eyes.
"What it does is that he's light on his feet," Farrell says. "His footwork isn't great, but he has good balance. That comes from lacrosse. That helps him."
Farrell also says one mark against Pyke is the level of competition he faces in the B Conference of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.
"The competition is weak. I think that hurts Greg as well," Farrell says. " He hasn't had an opportunity to go up against kids his size. I think that's a reason he has 10 offers but not 20."
The number of offers could increase by the time his senior season rolls around. Pyke says he plans to visit multiple schools this summer. But he doesn't seem worried about it.
That's just not his nature.