|Kyle Kalis (image via MGoBlog)|
Weight: 297 lbs.
High school: Lakewood (OH) St. Edward
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #67
Last year: I ranked Kalis #45 and said he would be a backup offensive lineman. He redshirted.
I misfired on Kalis last season, but that was perhaps a good thing for the team. I thought Kalis was the most college ready of the linemen in the class of 2012, and with very little depth on the offensive line, I thought he would be needed at some point. Amazingly, Ricky Barnum and the other hogs up front stayed injury-free, so Kalis got to ride out the season on the bench, presumably learning technique and the playbook. He earned some practice buzz and the coaches have praised his physical transformation since last year. Despite being a mauler already, he had some puffiness that seems to have disappeared if you've seen any recent photographs of him. In the spring he was in the thick of playing time for the three interior positions that need to be filled now that Barnum, Elliott Mealer, and Patrick Omameh have graduated.
Head coach Brady Hoke said recently that if the season were to start today, Kalis would be the starting right guard. His main competition appears to be redshirt junior Joey Burzynski, an undersized veteran who has seen some time as a backup over the past couple seasons. While I really like Kalis's long-term potential, I think he's the least valuable of the crew simply because he's young and there's some decent competition for the position. Aside from Burzynski, there's redshirt sophomore Chris Bryant, walk-on Graham Glasgow (who's also fighting for the center spot), redshirt freshman Blake Bars, and true freshman Kyle Bosch. I still have hopes for Bryant after he recovers from a broken leg, and I think Bosch will be a star someday, too. Kalis will surely struggle at times, but if he can adjust to the college game quickly, he could be very good very soon.
Prediction: Starting right guard