Previously: S Jeremy Clark, S Allen Gant, S Jarrod Wilson, CB Terry Richardson, LB James Ross, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, LB Kaleb Ringer, LB Joe Bolden, DE Chris Wormley, DE Tom Strobel, DE Mario Ojemudia, DT Matt Godin, DT Willie Henry, DT Ondre Pipkins, OL Ben Braden, OL Erik Magnuson, and OL Blake Bars.
|Lakewood, OH – 6'5", 294|
|Scout||5*, #6 OT, #35 overall|
|Rivals||5*, #4 OT, #1 OH, #22 overall|
|ESPN||4*, #10 OT, #4 OH, #132 overall|
|24/7||4*, #4 OG, #3 OH, #61 overall|
|Other Suitors||OSU, Alabama, Auburn, ND, Wisconsin, Florida, PSU, LSU|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Tim. Kalis referee clobberin' features in UV. LOL-worthy conspiracy theories also. Tom reports on his offer and gets a couple interviews.|
|Notes||Recommended background music for this post. OSU decommit. Father Todd played OL in NFL.|
Kalis also features in an instructional video put out by former OSU OL LeCharles Bentley, about which more later.
Kyle Kalis is one of many presents left under Michigan's Christmas Tree by Tatgate. While others may be sweeter (streak-breaking win, bowl ban, 6-7 OSU season, Brady Hoke raiding Ohio for more OSU-offered players in 18 months than Michigan had acquired in the previous decade), none is more important for Michigan's 2012 fate than an offensive lineman universally marveled at for his immediate readiness.
Josh Helmholdt commented on it($) when Rivals bumped Kalis to five stars:
"In 10 years of covering recruiting, Kalis is one of the most college-ready offensive linemen I have seen. Physically he appears able to step on a college field right now, and his technique is advanced beyond his years."
Gerry DiNardo concurs:
"I don't remember seeing many better high school offensive linemen than Kalis. Alan Faneca, who played for me at LSU, an All-Pro for a long-time, was a great high school, great college, and great pro player. (Kalis) reminds me of Faneca." …
"He's a developed player. He's further along than a lot of high school players. He's a good athlete, not a great athlete. I believe he's one of the guys that could play as a freshman. He's never on the ground, which is a critical evaluation when you're evaluating offensive linemen."
As does his personal OL guru (and former Buckeye standout) LeCharles Bentley($):
"Physically he's probably on the same wavelength as a collegiate sophomore," he said. "He came in at 290 pounds, and we have him down to 280 pounds right now. We're going to work him back up into the 295- to 300-pound range. He'll probably look about 310 pounds, though, because his body fat is so low."
Michigan's considering a walk-on at left guard and the two deep at tackle reads "Lewan, Schofield, bottomless pit"—Michigan needs Kyle Kalis, and they need him now. Thanks, Tatgate!
So Kalis is developed. He also goes to 11 in a couple other categories, most prominently proverbial mean streak and
murders run blocking. Darryl Funk talked about Kalis on Signing Day:
"He just wants to tear your head off," Funk said. "He plays like that all the time and practices like that all the time, and we need that. You can Xs and Os all you want, and that’s important, but at the end of the day, it starts up front.
"Everyone thinks it’s coachspeak, but (winning) starts with knocking the heck out of the guy in front of you, and that’s one thing Kyle does real well."
Funk laughed when he described one sequence of film in which Kalis knocks over an umpire “when he was throwing someone around” and couldn’t decide whether to help the guy up or find someone else to hit.
The beastliness/power theme runs through every report you get on the guy, and there are dozens. A selection of quotes about Kalis's beastliness:
- Allen Trieu: "whoever's across from him is destined to spend most of the day picking themselves off the ground."
- Bill Greene: "A true power plant on the offensive line."
- Helmholdt: "appears to derive great pleasure from punishing the man across the ball."
- Bentley: "me and two other guys that saw him, and all three of us said the same thing: that's Jake Long as a guard."
- The excitable Duane Long: "Kalis should not be allowed to play against high school players. What he does to opponents borders on assault."
- The not-very-excitable-after-Isaiah Bell ESPN($): "…capable of mauling defenders and getting good movement when drive blocking…a tough customer; displays a nasty finishing attitude while dominating his present level of competition. … tools to become a dominant run blocker at the BCS level of play."
- …aaaand Kalis himself: "When people watch my film they can easily see that I’m one of the nastiest linemen they’ve ever seen.”
The caveats offered are usually along the lines of "not the greatest athlete" in his high school class, which a couple of the Scout guys mention. Scout's profile also lists "arm length" as an "area for improvement," which… uh. Bucknuts dropped him from 2nd to 11th in their state rankings after the year but provided little explanation.
On the positive side of the ledger, Helmholdt noted($) that Kalis "brings the same level of intensity on every play and in every game" and hypes up his intangibles after a St Ed's game versus St. Ignatius. He also thinks the guy didn't get enough credit for his athleticism because he's more filled out that most high school OL.
At the Army game the coaches moved Kalis inside to guard, where he was a bit uncomfortable at first but still held up better than anyone else against the hulking interior linemen they faced:
The 6-5, 305-pound Kalis has been the most consistent performer on the East offensive line this week…. was one of the few offensive linemen who wasn't victimized by the powerful bodies across the line.
… came out of his stance low and with power and was aggressive in team run drills. In one-on-ones, he engaged, locked up and rode his opponents out of the play consistently. He could play either tackle or guard in college with equal effectiveness and his ability in run and pass protection is balanced. He went against some big defensive tackles and excelled while other interior linemen for the East squad struggled noticeably.
He played RG in the game itself, and said he didn't have a problem($) with the move:
"I'll help the team any way they want me to," he said. "If they want me to play guard then I'll play guard."
His stock remained steady in the aftermath of the game; as a five-star-ish player that is a positive development.
In this episode of "which Michigan OT commits end up on the interior?" we tell you Kyle Kalis is a guard, man. Side by side shots of Braden and Kalis:
Which one of these guys is an interior lineman? The one shaped like a bowling ball with trees where his legs are supposed to be. Bentley concurs($):
"I would like to see him at guard. Tackle is a different animal, and he's more physically suited for guard. His ability to communicate and be a real leader is right in the middle of the offense."
As does 247's Barton Simmons:
… best suited as an interior offensive lineman, but that isn't meant in a disparaging way at all. He's so powerful and he's such a great road grader in that spot, that he can just really move a lot of bodies… has a chance to move inside and become a real force on the next level, particularly in the run game.
In addition, there's the Army game stuff and many other mentions of a move to the interior above.
Now, Michigan has to endure this season with no tackle depth and since Kalis is the five star who spent his entire high school career at right tackle, he seems like the best guy to turn to in an emergency. When Craig Ross talked to Darryl Funk on Signing Day, that was the tentative plan:
Kyle Kalis: looks like an initial shot at RT according to Darrell Funk. No particular reason, he might end up elsewhere, but my impression is that Funk thinks this might be the best place for him to push for PT this year.
As soon as there's reasonable tackle depth, he's a guard. And possibly even before it, as Borges just announced that Kalis was competing at the left guard slot that is currently the only question mark in the starting five.
Kyle Kalis. Mattison saw one of the St. Ed's guys and mentioned that Michigan had recruited a "real man" out that school, one that "may just maul some of our guys."
“Kyle in our opinion is the top tackle in the country,” Finotti stated. “He could have gone anywhere, but really embraced the tradition and everything at Michigan. There are not too many tackles out there with his work ethic, size and ability and will to succeed. He’s a strong-willed young man.”
Why Steve Hutchinson? Michigan's guards deviated from powerful sonsabitches who would put you in the turf and steal your girlfriend before third down a sorrowfully long time ago. Michigan has had a series of guys who get all conference recognition because they're multi-year starters and seniors at Michigan but hasn't had a really great guard-type player since David Baas in 2005, and he was a center his senior year. Before that you have to reach back to the ridiculously loaded OLs from around the turn of the century to find the sort of players that match up with the Kalis hype above.
Like Steve Hutchinson. Yeah…
…that'll do. Sometimes you have to pull the big guns out. For what it's worth, both Drew Henson($)…
Dominates his comapetition more than any other OL prospect. ... Physical beast, a great run blocker, with a dare I say Steve Hutchinson mentality. Almost like he takes it personally.
…and the anonymous former Wolverine evaluators at Rivals who give eBay ratings to everyone (A+++++++, would recruit again) also dug up Hutchinson as a comparable($). Henson went so far as to call him a "probable All-American." As far as frame goes, Hutchinson is 6'5" and topped out around 310-315, where Kalis will end up as well.
Guru Reliability: Very high. Close to universal agreement. All star appearance.
Variance: Low, OL variance be damned. I'll break out "low" for a guy who is widely regarded as a college sophomore-ish player and the most advanced OL in analysts X years of covering stuff.
Ceiling: Massive. If healthy has a good shot at being the top rated guard in his draft year.
General Excitement Level: Massive. XOXO, Tatgate.
Projection: If he's as college-ready as he's supposed to be, Michigan has a tough choice between tossing him in the mix for an uncertain left guard spot or giving him a crash course on playing right tackle so he can be somewhat kind of okay in the event Lewan or Schofield gets hurt. Initial returns indicate the former.
I don't think they can redshirt him; the chances both starting tackles take every snap this year are very low and there's literally no veteran on the roster who is a plausible tackle. So he'll get spot minutes in blowouts and for (hopefully just) dings to the starters.
Next year the tackles come back and redshirt freshman versions of Braden and Magnuson seem poised to back them up; meanwhile Patrick Omameh and Elliott Mealer graduate. Kalis will be a full-time guard then and crubberate people there for three additional years.