Michigan football commit Kyle Kalis talks about the whirlwind surrounding his recruitment
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 AnnArbor.com 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 AnnArbor.com.
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."
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 AnnArbor.com 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.”