Committed Over: Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro offensive lineman Kayden Lyles committed to Wisconsin over a dozen Power Five conference offers, including Arizona State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC and Utah.
Rated: Lyles is ranked a four-star prospect and the No.2 offensive guard in the West, No.3 in the country and the No.89 overall prospect by Scout.com.
On Film: Having the potential to be a five-star prospect, Lyles is very mature for a young player. Most big kids when they are young are scared to be aggressive and don't know how to control their body; that's not Lyles.
A prospect with tremendous upside who continues to develop, Lyles’ strength is in his upper body with his ability to constantly take on double teams and still generate momentum into the backfield. He’s a tackle now for his high school team, which has just 25 players on its varsity roster, but is suited for the interior in college. He also has the skill set to play on the defensive side of the ball because of the energy that he brings to the field.
Another high-character kid entering the program, Lyles is a special player who has started every game for a perennial power team that won a state title in 2013. He's a big, strong kid and it's scary how good he could be.
Recruiting Impact: In the long term, this was a must land for the Badgers, a high-ceiling offensive lineman with all the tools to be a terrific player in both college and the N.F.L. In the present, it’s hard to quantify how this impacts the program for 2016.
UW already has two commits on the line – Patrick Kasl and Cole Van Lanen – and would love to add another one. With the development of redshirt freshman Michael Deiter and Micah Kapoi, suffering minimal losses this season and bulking up on linemen in the last cycle, UW might decide two is enough for now.
Currently in 2017, the Badgers have offered a pair of East Coast tackles in Jordan McNair (Maryland native) and C.J. Thorpe (Penn State legacy) and will have a hard time landing either of them. UW has also offered a four-star guard out of California in Aaron Banks.
For those players who don’t have an offer, watch out for Merrill (WI) High’s Jonathan Gruetzmacher, who has a huge frame at 6-8 and 277 pounds, and Iowa’s Mark Kallenberger, who visited last week and is rated an early three-star prospect.
Quotable: “It’s a great school and I love it for what it is, for what’s there. I love the coaches, and I just wanted to start my own legacy there.”
Final Thought: In the last three recruiting cycles, Wisconsin’s first commits of its class has been a huge recruiting splash all well over a year before national signing day that set the tone for the class (four-star offensive guard George Panos in 2014, three-star quarterback Austin Kafentzis in 2015 and four-star tailback Antonio Williams in 2016). UW needs experienced, talented offensive linemen (this year being a prime example) and to get a player of Lyles’ caliber is big. It likely was going to happen at some point, but it still doesn’t take away from the magnitude of this decision.
Lyles could have been one of the most sought after recruits in the country in 2017, gathering dozens of scholarship offers from each region of the country. It wouldn’t have mattered. The relationship Lyles and his family built with head coach Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator/line coach Joe Rudolph and receivers coach Ted Gilmore was the icing on the cake and one of the main reasons this commitment happened.