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

TheRivalry

July 10th, 2011 at 2:09 PM ^

I honestly NEVER expected it to ocurr so quickly. I expected a slow 4-5 year rebuilding period. With that said, NEVER underestimate the new guy.

P.S.

Welcome to Michigan, Kyle.

Caesar

July 10th, 2011 at 2:21 PM ^

We went from a hope-fringed Rodriguez era, to terror at the Brady Hoke hire, to the happy hiring of Greg Mattison, to this--probably the crown jewel of Michigan's recruiting class.

I'm really pumped for Michigan right now.

Bluepride23

July 10th, 2011 at 2:25 PM ^

I don't know what I like more. The fact that we got one hell of a football player orlistening to all the Bucknuts cry babies. They're actually comparing a Michigan defection to that of the Taliban...Welcome Kyle, you'll love it here.

 

GO BLUE!

 

bluebyyou

July 10th, 2011 at 2:36 PM ^

Not a bad week....getting really quality players. Kudos to the new coaches who seem to have this part of the game down rather soundly with players coming on board earlier than we have seen for a long while.

BrownJuggernaut

July 10th, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

We are going to have the nastiest offensive and defensive lines in college football aren't we? This is just going to be nasty. I would love to watch those practices. I would hate to go against these guys. 

beenplumb

July 10th, 2011 at 2:55 PM ^

 I just moved to Lakewood about a month ago, so I am definitely going to try to make it out to see this kid play once or twice this season (their field is like, a five minute walk from my apartment). 

Welcome, Kyle.

cigol

July 10th, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

Let's not forget that his offer sheet was filled with the top programs in the country.  It would have been faaaaar easier for this kid to commit to Alabama, Auburn, or even Wisconsin.  That shows you how high of regards he holds for Michigan.

It has been obvious over the last decade that recruiting classes focused primarily on Ohio or  Michigan could not compete with the south....This combo of elite talent from Ohio AND Michigan may be putting up a huge fight in 3-4 years.  You know that Michigan is back on the SEC's radar.

scottlarock727

July 10th, 2011 at 3:32 PM ^

Thank You Tom Strobel for a job well done! Thanks to Ace Williams for calling it 2 weeks ago and Thanks to Kyle for going Blue and being apart of one of the best recruiting classes in recent Michigan history!

Mr Mackey

July 10th, 2011 at 7:25 PM ^

Craziest thing for me was seeing Allen Gant one spot ahead of Tom Strobel?!

I know it's hard to compare DB and DE, and I want to make it clear that I'm very excited about both of these guys - I think Gant is gonna surprise a whole lot of people - but that's still hard to believe

Don

July 10th, 2011 at 5:01 PM ^

Sam posted this on one of the Scout message boards about 20 minutes ago:

"I keep getting PMs about some guy going around posting about silent commitments and how Kalis was the second of three silents.  I'll say it here so as not to answer it 10 different times...

Kyle Kalis was NOT a silent commitment... not two weeks ago, not two days ago... not ever.

Jarrod Wilson was NOT a silent commitment.

Chris Wormley is NOT a silent commitment.

The last silent commitment (i.e. a pledge to the coaches that hadn't been released to the public yet) was Wayne Morgan and the two sides have since parted ways.

Any reports to the contrary are by someone just throwing stuff on the wall to see what sticks.  My suggestion is to stop reading whoever is saying that because the reports are about as credible as those from my four year old rottweiller."

That someone throwing stuff (i.e., horseshit) on the wall to see what sticks must be the vaunted Ace Williams. I'll trust Sam Webb, not some anonymous internet doofus who won't stand behind his words with his real name.

The FannMan

July 10th, 2011 at 7:13 PM ^

This is incredible. 

I justed pulled up MGo.  As I did, I thought "well, I guess Hoke didn't pull off a two recruit weekend this week."  Then the page loaded!  He did it again? This is just crazy.  Say what you want about circumstances, etc., Hoke is just killing it.

I love the (way too short) video of this kid.  He wanted to plant everyone he hit.  Not just block them or push them into the next zip code.  He wanted to shove them about three feet into the turf. 

Kyle - welcome to Michigan.  You will love it here.  Don't worry about the folks back home.  I too have family in Ohio.  Once you start winning games, the noise will go waaay down. 

 

 

Johnny Blood

July 10th, 2011 at 8:30 PM ^

As we continue to put together one of the all-time great OL classes, one would think the RB's out there will take notice, right?  I mean, who wouldn't want to run behind this line.