Lyles set to contribute at new position

Former linebacker excited for playing time at defensive end this season.

Michigan State brought in two linebackers in the 2012 class, Riley Bullough and Jamal Lyles.

As the Spartans head into the 2013 season, both are at different positions. Bullough has moved over to the offensive side at running back and Lyles has moved up to defensive end.

The 6-foot-3, 246-pound defensive end said that the move brought with it a change in his what he has to do.

"Defensive end, you gotta use your hands more," he said. "You gotta try to get into the lineman. It's different from linebacker, you gotta use your speed because they are bigger than you and it's more technique than linebacker with your hands and everything. I'm just getting used to that."

He also had to bulk up after arriving at Michigan State around 215 pounds.

"I've been this size for a while now, but it took getting used to," Lyles said.

Lyles pointed to more veteran players like Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush for helping him learn at defensive end.

"They help me a lot," he said. "They help me and tell me what type of pass rush moves I can use. They show me some of their favorite moves that they use so they can get free. I try to emulate those guys and try to get better since I moved."

Last fall, he worked on the scout time as a linebacker, which he said was fun, but also valuable to get better.

"It was fun going up against the offense everyday," Lyles said. "We had two people draft off the offense in Le'Veon Bell and Dion Sims, so it was fun going up against those guys trying to get better and see where we gotta be so we can compete at the highest level."

At defensive end, he is going against players like senior offensive tackle Fou Fonoti, who said Lyles had a great attitude about the position change.

"You see a guy who was playing linebacker and a guy who really humbled himself when the coaches moved him down to defensive end," Fonoti said. "There wasn't a day where I heard him complaining about it. He took what the coaches said and he ran with it. You can just see from the spring to now, he is definitely comfortable. You see it.

"He is coming out there with his quick moves, he is pushing the edge and he is coming inside. I'm definitely excited to see him do big things for us this year."

Now, he is primed to see his first action in the green and white – likely against Western Michigan on August 30.

"My adrenaline is going to be rushing," Lyles said. "I've been waiting on this day for a long time. My last football game was in my senior year back in October 2011, so it's been a long time. I will be really excited and ready to go."


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