Lyles a more complete tight end this spring

Spartans sophomore set to take off after getting the offense under his belt. He talks the experience of last season and where is he is this spring.

Michigan State entered last season with a lot of question marks on offense. One of the major ones was who would produce at tight end after Dion Sims left early for the NFL.

Now, after a Rose Bowl winning season, the Spartans have a pair of tight ends at the top of the depth chart this spring in Josiah Price and Jamal Lyles.

For Lyles, this spring and the scrimmages thus far have been key for him – and he continues to draw praise from coach Mark Dantonio.

"I graded really good both scrimmages, like probably a B-average," Lyles said. "That's pretty good for a tight end because of all the blocking assignments. I've been doing really good and more physical."

The biggest key for the sophomore this spring has been getting everything down pat in his knowledge of the offense. From blocking to terminology, he had a lot to learn after making the move to tight end early last season in between games.

"The transition is almost impossible if you don't know any of the offensive terminology," he said. "It is hard trying to pick up on things and you don't have a clue about college terminology offensive wise. The routes are different languages to you and it's hard to pick up on all the plays."

Last fall when he mad the transition, he said the most difficult part was learning the checks in run support and pass protection so he could be a complete player.

"They just put me in mostly for passes last year just to get game experience, but now I can go in when it's a run play or a pass play and that's helping me out this spring," he said. "That was why I didn't get as much playing last year because when you play better teams down the line, they know what you are going to do when you put certain personnel in. we couldn't tip them off like that."

Now, he says he has the playbook down so when he goes in, defenses will be off balance. He also added 15 pounds to his frame, which he said will allow him to be more physical and wrestle in the trenches with bigger defensive ends.

All that combined, he is ready to get on the field more this fall.

"My blocking has allowed me to get on the field way more," he said. "I've just been doing well at that and getting better at route running.

"It's all coming together now and I'm feeling really good about this fall."

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