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Badgers Football: Taking a closer looking at new Wisconsin offensive lineman Kayden Lyles

Breaking down new Wisconsin offensive lineman Kayden Lyles, one of six early enrollees from the 2017 signing class.

Kayden Lyles

Offensive Guard

Commitment Date: 10/1/15


Unanimous first-team all-state selection by Associated Press as a senior … named all-state by Wisconsin Football Coaches Association as a senior ... recipient of Joe Thomas Award as state’s top senior offensive lineman … first-team All-Big 8 Conference as a senior … played first three seasons at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona … first-team all-section by Arizona Football Coaches Association as a junior and second-team all-section as a sophomore … two-time all-city selection

Recruiting Competition

Lyles committed to Wisconsin over two dozen other offers, including Arizona, Arizona State, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC and Washington.

Why Wisconsin? 

“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.”

Coach’s Comments

“He played a lot of right tackle at Saguaro and a lot of guard and center at Middleton. He’s very capable of playing center and might have that right in his future. I’m working him at guard so it’s easier and he doesn’t have to make the calls. He is getting meaningful reps and when we go with young guys (in practice) he’ll get center reps. Being able to be flexible and being able to play all three of those inside positions will be good for him and for us.” – Offensive Coordinator/Line Coach Joe Rudolph

Scouting Report

Lyles does a lot of things really well for his age: good feet, use of his hands well and his strength. Most big kids don’t know how to be aggressive and control their body at the same time, but 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. A high-character kid entering the program, Lyles is a big, strong kid and it's scary how good he could be.

BadgerNation Prediction

Junior center Michael Deiter remembers enrolling early at the University of Wisconsin and how overwhelming all the things were being thrown at him. Now that he’s a little older and a little wiser, Deiter can appreciate what Lyles is doing during his first spring practice with the Badgers.

“He’s not playing as young as he is,” Deiter said of Lyles. “People use to tell me I did that, and I never really understood that, but I’ve seen some freshmen come in and it takes them two weeks to really start understanding small, easy details. Mentally he is almost where he needs to be, but physically he could play. Where he’s at is way older than what you would give him credit for.”

Lyles attributes that success to a high school career that saw him play in a spread offense in Arizona and a pro-style offense in Middleton, the latter that has a lot of similarities to the Badgers.

“It’s helped me a lot to be able to transition pretty quickly, especially coming from a school in Arizona to coming here,” Lyles said. “To be able to adapt to everything quickly has helped me come here and try to do the same thing.”

Getting Lyles to commit early was big for a program that needed to build depth with experienced, talented prospects. He likely won’t be needed this season but he can easily be a multi-year All-Big Ten player when his career is done.

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