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Posted on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Michigan football commit Kyle Kalis talks about the whirlwind surrounding his recruitment

By Kyle Meinke


Michigan football recruit Kyle Kalis (67) clears a path to the end zone for a Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward High School teammate.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

When former top-ranked Ohio State recruit Kyle Kalis jilted the Buckeyes and committed to the Michigan football team last week, ESPN quoted him as saying, “I believe the Michigan-Ohio border is open” for recruiting.

It created a buzz.

Now Kalis, a five-star offensive tackle from St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, told on Wednesday he is unhappy with how he was portrayed in the media.

“The only thing I’ll say about that border thing is that I never actually said it (that way), even though Michigan fans have been messaging me, saying it’s the greatest ESPN quote of all time,” Kalis texted

ESPN quoted Kalis as saying: "I believe the Michigan-Ohio border is now open. I think you're going to see eight or nine guys from the state of Ohio going over to Michigan this year."



City: Lakewood, Ohio.

School: St. Edwards.

Position: Offensive tackle.

Height: 6-foot-5.

Weight: 305 pounds.

Rating: 4-star (Rivals), 5-star (Scout).

National position ranking: 4 (Rivals), 6 (Scout).

Prominent offers: Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

Photo courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Kalis said the quote is accurate, although it wasn’t meant to sound like he “was trying to get back at Ohio State.”

“I said that there used to be a sort of border between Ohio to Michigan and that for whatever reason you’re gonna see a handful of guys make that jump that they usually wouldn’t,” he said.

Kalis, who said he was told not to do any phone interviews after his comments made national headlines, texted about a variety of topics Wednesday.

Among them, Kalis said many Buckeyes fans in Ohio have been enraged by his decision, although it doesn’t bother him because he chose the school that is best for his future as a student and football player.

“The basic reaction (to my commitment) in Ohio has been, ‘Ah, how could you do this to your home state?! You betrayed your home state!!'” texted Kalis, whom Scout ranks the country’s sixth-best offensive tackle and the top overall player in Ohio. “It just makes me laugh because I’ve only been here for 2 1/2 years.

“About 95 percent of everyone has accepted (my decision). And of course my family is OK because they’re happy if I’m happy.”

Michigan’s 2012 recruiting haul has been substantial since Michigan coach Brady Hoke was hired to replace the fired Rich Rodriguez in January, and it has been bolstered by the potential major NCAA violations that could be levied against Ohio State. The Buckeyes are accused of a gifts scandal that allegedly includes several current and former players and a cover-up by former coach Jim Tressel, who has resigned.

Michigan has received commitments from nine Ohio players for 2012, and 19 overall, the most in the Big Ten. The Wolverines have a consensus top-10 class nationally, according to the major recruiting services.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Kalis might be the biggest catch of them all.

He originally committed to Ohio State in September. When the alleged violations came to light and Tressel resigned, Kalis affirmed his commitment to the Buckeyes.

Then on June 21, he officially decommitted and announced he would visit Michigan the following weekend. During that visit, Kalis called Hoke from the block "M" at Michigan Stadium’s 50-yard line to say he would be coming to Ann Arbor.

“The thing about Coach Hoke that really sticks out to me is that he’s real,” Kalis texted. “What you see is what you get with Coach, and that’s how it should be.

“Coach Hoke will be the reason U of M gets back on top. And I’m not the only one who sees it that way, the whole class does and the amount of focus that we all have is incredible, and Coach Hoke instilled that in us.”

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

Lets try this again... It is Michigan's duty to rescue as many talented student-athletes from the state of Ohio as is legally possible.


Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 12:23 a.m.

It's is Michigan's job to rescue as many talented kinds from the state of Ohio as is legally possible.

1st Down

Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 12:05 a.m.

Ohio fans are such hypocrites. They welcome Benedict Boren to their team with open arms... the guy who did what no other player has ever done, transfer to the rival... and they hate on this 18 year old kid who switched his committment...not transfer... what a bunch of classless people in Ohio. Go Blue. Hoke is it.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 11:24 p.m.

People in Ohio are violating one of the biggest unwritten rules in recruiting: don't lambaste a player for going away until his signature is on the dotted line. After that kind of treatment, there is no hope for a player changing his commitment and going to Columbus. Not only are they ignorant, they're stupid, too.

Steve Hendel

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

"He hasn't won a game yet" is right. Let's remember that people were talking much the same way about the $14,000,000 RichRod before he started the 2008 season.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

"The thing about Coach Hoke that really sticks out to me is that he's real," Kalis texted. "What you see is what you get with Coach, and that's how it should be. Coach Hoke will be the reason U of M gets back on top. And I'm not the only one who sees it that way, the whole class does..." And many UM fans and other people around the country see it too Kyle. And if not this year, tOSU and MSU and other teams will be seeing it in the near future.

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

Hey bogie, are you a fan of the O Li O Buck-lies? Thought so.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

There's been (of necessity) so much talk about building Michigan's defense that we've naturally strayed a bit from the need for a powerhouse offensive line. The offensive line is key to Denard's success and that of every Michigan QB to follow. So this new recruit is really, really good news for the Wolverines as well as being a final nail in the Doubts Coffin when it comes to our very impressive Coach Hoke and his staff. It's absolutely great that the 2012 Class is ranked so high already. But we have to remember that it's not going to be until 2015 when that class are all juniors before we see results on the field and nationally. Michigan was delayed three years because of a bad hire, there's nothing we can do about it. Bill Martin could have hired a good coach but nooo, he scrambled and came up with a ... "poor fit for Michigan." (Understatement of the entire Wolverines History.) For now: I'm content to support what is actually the Class of 2008: those who are now juniors and who I am sure will show us what Coach Hoke has made of them come September. Go Blue!

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

I understand that traditional thinking would go along with the timeline you set down but I think Coach Hoke is bringing guys in at can "jump-start" the timing by a year, maybe a year and a half. That's part of the excitement. Some of these guys will be needed to play early and the coaches are getting players that can do just that. I will be shocked if a lot of these young men don't see the field either in their freshman year or redshirt freshman year. SHOCKED! That 2012 or 2013, not 2015. In the meantime Coach Hoke and staff have a lot of work to do. I think they can do it. TiM Go Blue!

Terry Star21

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

Nice article Kyle M., nice quotes Kyle K. and great photo CPD - the photo tells me he will fit right in with the Michigan Team, mowing down opponents like bowling pins ! I love this kid, what a great student/athlete, what a great sense of character with a hint of humor. Standing at the 50 yd. line of the Big House, looking around and deciding - this is where I want to be I (just like the mighty Hoke knew his own destiny). MgoBlueForTiM...great time to be a Michigan Football Faithful...heck, let's run the table this year !

Kyle Meinke

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

Thanks, Terry. Running the table might be asking a bit much for this team -- although it's true Hoke is batting darn near almost 1.000 in the offseason. It'll be interesting to see how many wins that translates to this year and the next.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

This is aimed at the ohio troll bogie.. It seems as if you and your fans are soooo worried about what Michigan is doing! That is awesome!! It lets us kno you are watching carefully as your team falls apart. It might be a few years even but your team is heading in the opposite direction as us! GO BLUE!!!!! For you to comment on a kid you never met to dog him out with your opinion(which means nothing) proves your overall concern. Thanks for worrying about our team but it seems as tho your team needs the support more than ours as of now.. So find a ohio sight and help your teams morale ours is just fine!!!

Terry Star21

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Very well said BG....Would I be safe to say osu buckeyes will not see a bowl game until Sarah Palin is in the white house ???


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

To quote Brady Hoke himself, "Why are you clapping? I haven't won a game yet." Still, all of you who were jumping off cliffs at this hire, convinced Michigan needed a big name like Harbaugh, Miles, or Gruden to jump start recruiting, we hope to welcome you back soon into this great, worldwide, Maize and Blue fold.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

KM I feel .500 in BT play with at least 3 wins in non-conference games equals the primary goal of Coach Hoke's first year, a bowl game. One of the biggest hurdles for the previous group of coaches, known as the gang that couldn't shoot straight, was not getting in the practice time a bowl game gives you to coach up those players you will need for the next season. With a new offense and defense being uploaded by an almost completely different coaching staff to the team, winning enough games to play in a bowl game has to be the primary objective of this year. How the team does that is the big (secondary) question. I guess we will have to watch the games. TiM Go Blue!

Kyle Meinke

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

Blu n Tpa, exactly. It wouldn't be surprising if Michigan struggled in Big Ten play this year. To lock down (as much as you can at this point, anyway) a top class now is critical, because it takes advantage of the good sentiment created by the Hoke hire. That good sentiment might not be there if Michigan is hovering around .500 (or so) in league play.

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

I think BECAUSE he hasn't won a game yet is why this move by Kalis is so important. Coach Hoke is "winning" where he can and is building momentum the only way possible at this time. The question is really: Has Coach Hoke done everything he, and his staff, can do in the time given them? The answer is undoubtably YES! TiM Go Blue!

Kyle Meinke

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

RWBill, that's a wise quote, because it tempers expectations going into the season. But the truth is such that, although he hasn't won a game yet, Hoke will be expected to win some of them this year, and a greater degree of them next year. He'll need good players this year and the next to do that. Kalis is a good player. So, ya know, this is a nice coup worthy of applause, I think, only because it is in some ways a win unto itself. Make sense?

Terry Star21

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

Great time to be a Michigan Football Faithful....yet just a horrible time to be a buckeye.....even a spartan......


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Be careful Wolverine fans, he could be another Justin Boren. LOL. He doesn't seem to have an allegiance to anything. I mean, he left his Pittsburgh school to get recognition at perennial powerhouse St. Eds. He spoke to Fickell and said he was still committed to the Bucks, but here he is. I am sure the phrase, " the team, the team, the team" is not in his vocabulary. LOL. It's gonna be a great year! GO BUCKS!!!

Kyle Meinke

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

Mick, you're right. Kalis lives in Ohio now, but has been there for only 2.5 years. He didn't grow up an Ohio State fan.

Kyle Meinke

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Bogie, Kalis' goal is to get to the NFL. So, he went to a high school that would help him get to a good college, then decided against a college that would be going through NCAA sanctions during ( and probably for much of) his college career. He decided to attend a different world-class school instead. Wouldn't you do the same to help your kid pursue his/her childhood dreams? I know what you're saying, because loyalty is paramount to success in team sports. But I also don't find much wrong with him making decisions that put him in the best position to fulfill his dreams.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

I was thinking Boren too, Bogie, with the thought that if Kyle Kalis is a die hard OSU fan could he leave if the NCAA gives osu a slap on the wrist in penalties? Since he is not a long time OH resident perhaps he has no osu lure pestering him. Tressel put osu in a huge bind by holding out so long. Just the possibility of a big spanking from the NCAA is going to make players stay far away. Had he come out when he should have, perhaps this would all be resolved by now.

Terry Star21

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

Yep, great decision...decided against a school that had cheated to win football games for ten years and that won't be in a bowl game until Sarah Palin is in the white kid, opted for the greatest college football team in America.....could things get worse for the osu....???? Just a horrible time now to be a buckeye !


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Panic much?


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Yeah, he sounds pretty smart to me. He left one HS to go to one of the best (and be the best) football schools in the country. Oh no, how can he look to better himself! Second, he backed out of one school that is looking at NCAA penalties and an unproven coach or an unknown permanent coach to be named later. His quotes show that he is impressed with the VALUES our coach is looking to bring. Even if he did de-commit later on, he made the right decision in jumping off the sinking ship where the delusional fan-band plays on, pretending that you didn't just hit an ice berg and have a gaping hole in the side of your program. Hail to the Victors!


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

Kalis decommiting from TSIO and picking Michigan was HUGE from several standpoints. First, we got a great player at a big position of need who will probably be a 1st Team All Big Ten eventually. Second, it does a lot to build up Michigan's prestige with other top recruits in Ohio especially. They look at a great player like Kalis coming here, and they think "Wow, there must be something great going on up there with the new coaching staff. Maybe I should check them out too". Third, it makes OSU look worse to potential recruits because they're seeing someone who really liked OSU and committed, change his mind. The implication is that maybe the problems being faced by TSIO are worse than publicized. But, Michigan fans should be very excited about this 2012 class. One service has us as the #1 class right now, and others have projected us to probably finish in the Top 5 when February rolls around. This is an amazing turnaround by the new coaching staff. Go Blue!

Kyle Meinke

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

81wolverine, I know what you're saying, and I agree in principle that the Kalis commitment is a boon for the perception of the Michigan program and its recruiting class. However, most kids will say factors other than whose already committed play a bigger role in where they will go -- factors such as immediate playing time, coaching, schemes, exposure, etc. One spot where Kalis' committment could really help, I think, is at running back. I think Michigan will add one back before this class is finished, and the specter of running behind Magnuson and Kalis for four years, plus Taylor Lewan as a junior and senior, has to be appealing.

Terry Star21

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

Good job 81....don't you just love the photo, mowing that kid down - now that's M tradition !


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

The former coach: we lost a year of recruiting because I was hired late. Hoke: You're coming to Michigan and we're going to kick arse. I can't *wait* for the season to start. GO BLUE!!!

Lorain Steelmen

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Ohioans that have decided to go to Michigan have been called 'taitors' for generations. There is nothing new here. Going back to the Bo Schembechler teams, coaches like Hanlon, and Moeller, and players like, Tom Curtis, Dan Dierdorf, Jim Mandich, Tom Darden, down through the years, to Lytle, Desmond Howard, Kolesar, Chas Woodson, and Marcus Ray. None of those guys was 'soft', and they all played a big part in the Michigan tradition. Now we have Brady Hoke. And the tradition continues!.......I'm a Wolverine from Ohio, and darn proud of it. Go Blue!

Terry Star21

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

TRADER ! (just joking, you made the right decision), it does seem like the osu really disowns the HS players going north doesn't it ?


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

During that visit, Kalis called Hoke from the block "M" at Michigan Stadium's 50-yard line to say he would be coming to Ann Arbor. That kinda sums it up right there !! When Kyle was standing on that block M , I imagine he felt a cold chill thru-out his body,he began to feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up,his nostrils flared ! his eye's widened ,a surge of adrenaline took over,and he became a Wolverine !!! called coach Hoke and said I'm in !! HAIL YES THIS IS MICHIGAN !!

David Paris

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Welcome to The University of Michigan, and to Ann Arbor Mr Kalis! I'm liking your resemblance to another Wolverine Great OT, Jeff Bachus! Best of Luck to you in your next four years here.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

Welcome Kyle.. like i said in previous posts, he is originally from the Pitt area,and has only been ohio a few yrs,but the nut fans want to demean him,and judge his character , say he's soft (because he didn't go to osu)called him a trader etc! The nut fans just don't get it,and they are still in denial ,with they're win at all costs mindset ! Kyle made a sound decision for his future,and it is his future! integrity and hard work ,not payoffs, free cars, tatts, osu fans are worst ! Kyle's father is an X NFL OT ,and played for the Steelers,Vikings,& Bengals,he went to and played football for ASU NOT osu... He wants to play for coach Hoke !! And he has seen the writing on the wall,and knows this 2012 recruiting class is going to be something special,and wants to be a part of it.. GO BLUE..


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 11:07 a.m.

Welcome Kyle and to the entire Kalis family!!! You are bound to be ridculed from Ohio people for a long time. However, just remember, these are the same people who thinks Tressel did no wrong! GO BLUE!


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 10:54 a.m.

Go BLUE!!!!