The name Kyle Kalis should sound familiar to Pittsburgh sports fans. His dad Todd Kalis was an offensive guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers during their 1994 and 1995 AFC Championship runs. The younger Kalis checked in at 6-5, 301-pounds at the Pitt camp. Todd Kalis is also the Pittsburgh chapter president for the NFL Alumni.
"That was my first camp I ever went to this year," Kalis said. "I love Pitt's facility. I thought it was awesome."
Kalis related well to offensive line coach Tony Wise. Though his dad played nearly a decade in the NFL, his path never crossed with Wise or Dave Wannstedt. The only exception would have been a few seasons when Kalis played for the Minnesota Vikings, and Wannstedt was the head coach for the Chicago Bears, where they played each other twice a year. Kalis said the things Wise taught were difficult, but he seemed to do a nice job breaking things down.
"I think (Wise) has so much background, he's such a good coach," Kalis said. "He preaches it to us. He's easy to understand. I don't think you get better in one day, but you can take one thing away (from the camp) and keep getting better. It‘s up to you what you can get better with."
After he came back from the camp, Kalis got a bit of unexpected good news from the Pitt staff.
"Actually, the Monday after, (St. Edward head coach Rick) Finotti was talking to me and he said they offered Deonte (Gibson)," Kalis said. "He said they (verbally) offered me too. It was cool getting my first offer."
Kalis is expected to be one of the more coveted linemen in the Midwest region. The offer from Pitt meant a lot to him, but at the same time, his impression of Pitt is already favorable.
"I'm originally from Pittsburgh, and I've always liked Pitt," Kalis said. "I saw the facility. The facility was so nice, it was mind-blowing. The weight room is one of the best I‘ve ever seen. The coaching staff is great too."
Shortly after Pitt's camp, Kalis went to Ohio State's prospect camp. The end result there gives us a better idea of where he should stand among linemen for the Class of 2012.
"Ohio State went really well," Kalis added. "I was one of the top-10 performers. Of all the linemen, they ranked me number-one, that was out of everybody. I think there were 300 or 400 kids at that camp."
Kalis is done with the prospect camps for the summer, and will turn his attention back to lifting and getting ready for St. Edward's 2010 season.
"Our coaches have us so well-trained," Kalis said. "They get us so ready. My weightlifting numbers have gone up since I went to St. Edwards."