"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
A recent Buckeye decommitment, OH OL Kyle Kalis has committed to Michigan's class of 2012, per a tweet (and accompanying article) from Scout's Allen Trieu. As you will see, this is a Big Deal:
5*, #6 OT,
#4 OT, #18 Ovr
4*, 80, #20 OT,
4*, 96, #8 OT,
#2 Ohio, #52 Ovr
There's a bit of a range in the sites' opinions of this kid. Scout and Rivals (which, to be fair, are the most-established recruiting sites) have him in the top 25 prospects in the country, and he's a 5* to Scout and the guy directly ahead of him in Rivals's overall rankings has five stars. Taking one step back from that is 24/7 Sports, which still likes him, but not nearly as much, calling him a good-not-great 4-star, and outside of their national top 50. ESPN is the most down on him, barely including him in their ESPNU150, and ranking 19(!) offensive tackles ahead of him (as a comparison, the other sites combined have 15 OTs ahead of him, DJ Humphries, Andrus Peat, and John Theus the only ones ahead on all three sites).
In terms of size, there's near-unanimity between the services. All of them say he's 6-5, and weights have a HUGE range from 300-305 pounds, with two votes cast for 302. Thus, 6-5 and 302 pounds seems to be just about perfect.
Kalis is a tough run blocker capable of controlling defenders with his upper body playing strength. Has the size with enough athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. If edge speed becomes a factor this prospect could end up inside at the offensive guard spot.
And there we see the first reason that he's probably not an elite prospect to them: he might play guard, a way less important/glamorous position on the football field.
This guy is a tough customer; displays a nasty finishing attitude while dominating his present level of competition. His arm length and short set ability should serve him well in pass protection; can bend and play flat footed, displaying the ability to play stout vs. the bull rush. Although his playing strength is a positive we see the need to polish his initial location and arm extension in pass pro.
Oddly, they say he doesn't have the length to play tackle, then praise the length of his arms. In a single-game report, they also praised his pass-blocking. Scout, on the other hand, admits that's one of his shortcomings, listing "Arm Length" as his only area for improvement (I guess they think he's got access to a medieval stretching rack?). His positive points are considered "Feet," "Nasty Streak," and "Power and Strength," echoing the ESPN evaluation of those aspects. Allen Trieu on his abilities:
Kalis is a tough, strong lineman who dominates consistently. He plays the game hard and is an excellent run blocker and drive blocker. He plays with good leverage and finishes his blocks strong. He shows the ability to pull and lead, and is coordinated and athletic in the open field. He has good feet all around, which is also evident in pass pro. If there's a knock, it's that he may not be long enough for left tackle. - Trieu
That arm length is starting to sound like a liability, but with his excellent feet, guard is sounding more and more like a possibility with everything I see. Duane Long discusses his game on Bucknuts:
One of the best offensive line prospects it has been my pleasure to evaluate in my time scouting players in Ohio. One thing that I believe has helped the Ohio State offensive line become better is bringing in players who like to play football. When I am talking about offensive linemen liking to play football I mean they like beating people up.
This speaks more to his nasty streak than anything, but calling him among the best all-time is a big deal; Long has been evaluating Ohio prospects for a few years, so that "all-time" puts Kalis among Aundrey Walker, Andrew Norwell, the late Matt James, and Marcus Hall. Long got more specific later in the process:
One of the finest tackle prospects I have seen in my time covering players in Ohio. I have yet to see Orlando Pace's equal but other than him I see Kalis in the same argument as Korey Stringer, Alex Boone, Marcus Hall and Andrew Norwell. He is very mobile, doing a great job of getting downfield and blocking on the second level. At the point of attack he is a dominating run blocker.
He is as technically sound as any lineman I have seen in the last couple of years. Once he gets his hands on a defender it is over. He is going to punish him until the whistle blows.
His father is former NFL lineman Todd Kalis, who (oddly enough) played for former Ohio State coach John Cooper at Arizona State. Sons of NFL players typically are a bit more polished than others, as Long implies. Duane's one question mark? If he has the ability to play LT, a recurring theme in other evaluations. Long couldn't contain his excitement after watching Kalis's physical play in the State Championship game:
Kalis should not be allowed to play against high school players. What he does to opponents borders on assault. He beats up the opposition... I don't like to project offensive linemen to play as freshman. Kalis is one that I think can. Love the nasty. Love the motor.
He'll play in the Army All-American Bowl ($, info in header).
Long story short on Kalis: an elite run blocker, mostly unknown as a pass blocker (from the sound of things, St. Eds doesn't pass a lot, and Kyle has played on the right side to date). He has the mobility the pull-block, and with shorter arms, might be a better fit as a guard, but a great one.
I like this part. Here are a few of Kalis's top offers: Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Those schools are either recruiting powerhouses, reigning National Champions, or Offensive Line Of Doom machines, so that offer sheet is very impressive.
Some of his other offers include Arizona State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Miami (YTM), Michigan State, Nebraska, Pitt, and West Virginia. Penn State showed interest, but did not yet offer Kyle (though there's a good chance it's due to his long-standing commitment, rather than a negative evaluation of his talent).
Kalis is an offensive lineman, and therefore doesn't have stats. However, Lakewood St. Ed's is one of the top programs in Ohio, and Kyle played a key role in leading them to a State Championship last year. They're MaxPreps's #9 team this season.*
FAKE 40 TIME
None of the recruiting sites have listed a 40 time for Kyle, so I get to give out my default five FAKEs out of five.
Junior highlights from ScoutingOhio, which has taken to posting obnoxiously-short videos:
This kid is a 5-star (or close to it) for a reason. He has the potential to play as a true freshman, and with Michigan's questionable depth at offensive line, he could see a backup role in his first year on campus. There are a couple RT/G prospects in the class ahead of him though, so hopefully he can take a year to learn.
After that, however, three interior linemen depart, and Taylor Lewan could also be out the door to the NFL Draft if he has an excellent redshirt junior season. Playing time should be easy to come by, even if it's only a key backup role.
As an upperclassman (or redshirt sophomore), I wouldn't be surprised if Kalis took an iron grip on a guard spot, and became a dominating Big Ten offensive lineman. With his recruiting rankings, it's hard to project anything short of potential multi-year all-conference honors, and possibly even an early entry to the NFL Draft.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
The need at offensive line is all-but completely taken care of. Michigan will stay after several blue chips -- 5-star IL OL Jordan Diamond would be a very nice final piece of the puzzle, as a versatile lineman that can play pretty much any position -- but otherwise that big need has been filled.
Class needs remain re at defensive tackle and wideout, with smaller needs at QB and RB - positions the coaching staff could take a pass on if they can't land anyone elite.
* [Ed-M: Michigan was looking at three more of Kalis's teammates for 2012. Two - tight end Sam Grant and OL Tyler Orlosky have committed elsewhere (BC and WVa. respectively). DT Greg Kuhar is a 3-star DT deciding between Northwestern and West Virginia, and seems to be behind other M offers for his position).
To be fair, there were some commentators at Bucknuts imploring the rest of the crowd to "not wish injuries on the kid." I'm not sure what the ratio of idiots:more rational posters is, but it still speaks badly to their fanbase.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Phuck this punk. Michigan? I hope he blows his ACL and PCL out. What a complete piece of trash this kid turned out to be. I will not cut slack to ANYONE who claims to be a Buckeye and then commits to scUM. I was 18 once, and I would never do such a thing. Complete asshole kid. His parents should be ashamed. I know I would be if he were my son.
a second underclassman Guard to start soon too, Garnett is that guy for my money, he sounds like a bigger M lean than Banner right now. Magnuson is ideal as a RT, so we don't have a guy lined up to replace Lewan yet if he goes 3 and out. If we pull Garnett first then Banner could go with him and replace Lewan someday.
Dont be surprised if he takes over the left tackle ( right tackle for Morris). For some reason people dont think highly of Braden, but he has the size and he has been ding very good in the camps, so i like his chances...
If we took Garnett and Banner, that would be a total of 7 OL, unless someone started looking elsewhere. That seems like an excessive amount of OL, even if they are elite. It would be an interesting scenario if Garnett committed and then Banner wanted to as well, as to what the coaches would do.
"Adversity? Yes, we've got that. We always look at that as an opportunity to show the steel in our spine"
and none of them were 5 stars. I imagine if he had 1 spot left in his class and Andrus Peat or Zach Banner wanted to commit he'd have taken 7 that year. Carr didn't have the same drastic depth needs to consider then that we do either. 7 in one year is a TON of guys, but RR only took 2 one year and 1 the year after. If all of the 2011 guys redshirt then we'll have walkons in the 2 deep, its the same for 2012.
Kyle Kalis is the first five-star that was recruited really hard by OSU, but won over by Michigan since _________________ in the year ______________. (fill in the blanks)
I don't know the answer to this question; I defer to the wisdom of the board. I think it's a long time. We've gotten some good players out of Ohio, all along. And we've gotten numerous recruits who may also have had offers from OSU. But on the level of a pure 4-5 star, who was a clear top-level interest of the Buckeyes, I am trying to think of who it was we have taken out of the Buckeye state in recent years.
The essential point being: He's one of the many great recruits we've gotten from Ohio; but is he a guy that we stole from OSU? In Turner, did we take away a kid that OSU was recruiting hard and relying on? As is apparently the case with Kalis?
Well Kalis decommitted from OSU so that's another level of reliance, but that's not quite the question you asked. OSU and Michigan were thought to be Turner's top two schools for a while and OSU recruited him hard, he was after all,,the #1 player in Ohio that year.
Well not 2 years because 1 of those years guys will be spent as HS seniors and the next as college freshmen. Maybe 3 years but I dont want to look that far down, thats Hokes job! Im trying to enjoy the present and I always enjoy Michigan football.
But with Hoke hopefully it will be 1990s enjoyable again.
What a huge get. He was supposed to be one of the two or three key members of this year's OSU class and OSU's meltdown and the new staff pushed him straight to Michigan. I've been waiting a few years for something like this.
Now we need to get one on the field. Considering OSU loses almost its entire defense and its star, this is the year to do it...right?