Ball State Class of '08: Kyle Hoke continues to highlight each player in the class of 2008 and doing a brief scouting report on each of the 24 players in the class (21 new players signed and 3 greyshirts). Today we have the sixth of those 24 installments.

Kyle Hoke, 5-11 195, S/LB, Sugar Land, TX (Clements)

What he brings: Fundamentally sound especially against the run. Hoke comes from good stock (Dad is a coach for the Houston Texans and uncle is Cardinal Coach Brady Hoke) and from a good program (Clements in Texas). Seeing him on tape shows that he has the skill set to play sooner, rather than later for Ball State. He attacks the run with reckless abandon and will hit you . . . hard. Hoke has okay coverage skills at this point and should have enough speed to eventually cover a TE or RB. If put in the right situations, Hoke will excel, but given his lack of top end speed, covering slots and WR will be hard for him. Don't fret though; Hoke certainly has the skills to play in the MAC. He reminds me a great deal like former Cardinal Justin Beriault - great run defending S with skills to play centerfield, but doesn't have the greatest of athletic ability to cover man to man against quick players and WR.

Areas of improvement: With the above said, I think Hoke needs to hone his skills at covering the bigger, but slower TEs and against RBs as well. This is where he will excel in coverage in a few years. He will never have top flight speed, but he certainly has the speed to play S and defend well. Also, Hoke must develop his run vs. pass recognition. This is a main learning point for all incoming S. But given Hoke's solid base of fundamentals and his student of the game mentality, that gap should be made up quickly. grade: Will fill a nice niche starting off, but eventually will mold into a successful starter.

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