WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Ohio State offered Kayden Lyles today, making the Buckeyes his tenth offer.
When you're 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds as a high school freshman, people will notice you. When you're that big and playing football at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, college football coaches definitely notice you as well. Kayden Lyles is getting noticed and is on his way to becoming one of the country's most recruited 2017 offensive lineman. He already has scholarship offers from Oklahoma (they were his first), Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, UCLA and Utah, and is likely to have his pick of any school in the country by the time he hits his pinnacle.
Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Lyles and his family have established routes in the Valley of the Sun, but that doesn't mean much to the young Lyles, according to his father, Kevin, who played tight end for the Badgers in the mid-1990s. Even with the family ties to Wisconsin, Kayden preferred a different Big Ten school growing up.
"Kayden's 'dream school' is Ohio State," Kevin Lyles shared with Eleven Warriors. "As we saw the process was getting ready to take off, I asked him a question. 'If you could go anywhere, where would it be?' His answer was Ohio State. He doesn't like the hot weather in Arizona and growing up Ohio State was always the best school in the midwest, so that's where it came from."
For Kayden, he's trying to not let the idea of a "dream school" get in the way of his recruitment. He realizes there's years left to evaluate and his options and he'll definitely take his time. This morning, two days after participating in Sunday's Nike Football Training Camp in Columbus, he and his parents — along with his 2016 quarterback prospect brother, Karé Lyles — were able to check out a little bit of what the Buckeyes have to offer.
"The visit went great," Kayden said after his family left campus. "It was really cool and I liked it a lot. The facilities were really cool, but the thing that stood out was how everyone we talked with just kept things 'real.' They told the truth about everything and the coaches were really cool, especially Zach Smith and (Urban) Meyer. It's got a great midwest feel to everything there."
Ohio State has already offered one 2017 offensive lineman, Miamisburg, Ohio's Josh Myers, and although Lyles didn't pick one up today, he knows the Buckeyes are going to be around and will get a great chance to see and evaluate him this fall as they recruit his teammate Christian Kirk.
"When we talked with (Meyer), he basically just reminded us that there's so much time left in our recruitment," he said of Ohio State's message for him and his brother. "There is a very long process ahead of us. They also really focused on not only football, but life after football, after college."