Hello: Kyle Kalis

Submitted by Tim on July 10th, 2011 at 1:11 PM

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:

KyleKalis-mug.jpg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
5*, #6 OT,
#21 Ovr
4*, 6.0,
#4 OT, #18 Ovr
4*, 80, #20 OT,
#140 Ovr
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.

Let's kick off the evaluations on a negative note, as ESPN is by far the least impressed:

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.

A report from Long before Kalis's commitment:

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.

OFFERS

KyleKalis-passblock.jpg

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).

STATS

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.

VIDEO

Junior highlights from ScoutingOhio, which has taken to posting obnoxiously-short videos:

(Insert joke here about The Killers as the soundtrack to him burying a bunch of dudes). Sophomore(!) highlights. There are a couple Rivals Amp videos available, as well.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

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).

Comments

Zone Left

July 10th, 2011 at 1:38 PM ^

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?

Bodogblog

July 10th, 2011 at 1:40 PM ^

You're joining what looks to be a historical recruiting class, at the best football university in the world. Cannot wait for this season, cannot wait for these guys to get here next year.

Yeah, I believe this kid can provide immediate depth on the line, as Magnuson and others can. I still hope some of them RS, but they eliminate a lot of worries as soon as they hit campus. And wow when they're seniors.

MANBALL? Ok. (but not 100% this year)

Incredible, Hoke/GMAT.

turtleboy

July 10th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

say the bright spot of Tressel getting canned is the OC will get canned too. They all freely admit their OLine is a JV squad and it's hurt their offensive recruiting. Boren was the only solid guy they had. Now they're not only worried about lack of talent, they're fretting a lack of depth even more than we were.

Bodogblog

July 10th, 2011 at 10:25 PM ^

And with Miller last year, and Cardale Jones presumably following after prep/JuCo (I forget which), do they even need a QB? I don't understand how their perceived lack of OL has hurt offensive recruiting. QBs and RBs care about the line, and they seem to be doing fine there.
<br>
<br>That is interesting though, didn't realize they were thin (assuming that's true). With what they've got going on and Hoke killing it, holy crap this is a very bad time for them to be thin at OL.

AZBlue

July 10th, 2011 at 5:44 PM ^

the fullback has proven to be more than servicable for the Bucks - we could have used him in Champaign a few years back..........And for that matter Justin could have made a huge difference for us in '08 if not '09 as well.

I don't mind ragging on the dude, but lets be honest about the impact of his leaving.

RayFinkle

July 10th, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^

Now that is a way to start off a Sunday, but this class has the feel of hard nose Michigan football of old that I have been pining for.  Unbelievable class already and to think 6 months ago I was sitting in Jacksonville with cowbells ringing in my ears watching a hapless Michigan team get pounded into the ground by Miss. St.  As a Bud Light would say it best. "Here We Go".

bfradette

July 10th, 2011 at 1:46 PM ^

So yeah, my family is wondering why I shouted "YES!!!!" as soon as my google chrome loaded up, and then why Im watching footage of some kid in high school rolling and pancaking dudes. 

Welcome to the Blue family Kyle, we all look forward to watching you add to the legacy.

P.S.- Bring that Dunn kid along with you, hey?

Sac Fly

July 10th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

Just took a look over at bucknuts and ive never been so disgusted from reading a message board in my life. You have to be a real piece of garbage to say you wish an 18 year old kid tears his ACL and never plays again.

LB

July 10th, 2011 at 1:50 PM ^

(no, it was not Jackson!)

 

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.

True Blue in CO

July 10th, 2011 at 1:52 PM ^

We had posts by Tom that were deleted, rumors from the Buckeye Nation, guesses if the Kalis family was visiting this weekend.  Then the board lit up with a confirmation of a visit from TomVH, on campus sightings reported on MGo, and then finally a burst of Tweets telling us his committment was true.  Who needs to go to the movies or watch TV when you get this kind of drama.  Fun to watch.  Welcome aboard Mr. Kalis.  We look forward to seeing you and your talents in Michigan Stadium in 2012.   Cheers.

LB

July 10th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

No, none of the high school players in or around Ohio will take note of the way you respond to players that think their path lies elsewhere. Keep it up!

yoopergoblue

July 10th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

I think it's rediculous that some posters over there are saying that he has a lack of character for decommiting from OSU and coming to Michigan.  I don't think it is wrong to change your mind about a program while you are still in high school and looking for the best place to go to college.  

jerseyblue

July 10th, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

I think we'll see 1 more "Hello" post before the season starts and that will be Wormley. Then the final six will be based off of game visits during the season. 

wlubd

July 10th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

Will be interesting to see if he jumps or not. I still think he'll hold off until his season starts at the least. He can maybe afford to since it doesn't look like we have any other OL commits on the immediate horizon. And re: OSU-lol. If he goes anywhere else, it'll be to Wisconsin.

 

jerseyblue

July 10th, 2011 at 3:08 PM ^

I was thinking that about Pipkin too but then he said he was looking forward to his 5 official visits. As for Diamond, i don't know. He may look at all these OL and go somewhere else. I think you're on the right track there with Wisconsin. I can definitely see them coming into serious play here.

We'll have 6 spots left after Wormley. I'd prefer 2 WR's and 2 DT's in there. Then use the last 2 for best avilable prospect regardless of position.

wlubd

July 10th, 2011 at 3:18 PM ^

Maybe. Or maybe he can just read the tea leaves like everyone else. And he still wasn't even right calling Kalis a silent. See below:

Tom VanHaaren

 

Farnn

July 10th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

From looking at the OSU message boards, I think Hoke should consider putting Kalis in witness protection.  Those fans are wackos.

MilkSteak

July 10th, 2011 at 2:02 PM ^

From bucknuts 

 

I have benn a Buckeye fan all of my life. Because I AM, I would never consider Michigan. So Kalis, don't come around telling anyone you are a life-long OSU fan. BULL SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He's a loser. Not going to OSU under these circumstances is some what understandable for these young kids, going to Michigan is inexcusable though. I hope some HS kid goes at his knee this season.

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.

This is ridiculous. I can see why he took so long on his commitment, this backlash is just mind boggling. "His parents should be ashamed." Ridiculous. This sort of thing makes me proud to be a part of MGoBlog, where even when a kid makes a choice to commit to someone other than the good guys, we're respectful. Stay classy, OSU.

MilkSteak

July 10th, 2011 at 2:06 PM ^

WAIT! This one takes the cake. 

 

In response to someone saying that another post is ridiculous:

Only if you have no loyalty. Michigan is like fighting for the Taliban.

To be fair though, it's not everyone on the board posting things like this. Some are level headed and chastising people like this.

Michigasling

July 10th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/22/messages/97.html



THE WORM TURNS - "Someone previously downtrodden gets his revenge; an unfavorable situation is reversed. The saying represents an evolution of the old proverb, 'Tread on a worm and it will turn.' The meaning was that even the most humble creature tries to counteract rough treatment. Shakespeare picked up the thought in Henry VI, Part 3, where Lord Clifford urges the king against 'lenity and harmful pity, saying:
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.'"
"The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

 

gt4blue

July 10th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

This is indeed great news. We've been anxiously waiting for you. Mr Strobel, thank you for encouraging Kyle to come with you. Now, who's next, Diamond, Peat, Pipkins, Wormly, or O'Brien? Why don't we just do a conference call and get this all taken care of? Oh, and thanks to Coach Hoke and crew for bringing back the enthusiasm for this great program.