January 6, 2012

Kalis stepping up with the competition

SAN ANTONIO - Although many of the participants in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (which airs Saturday at 1 p.m. EST on NBC) have noticed that the competition during practices is a step up from high school games, not all agree. Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward offensive lineman Kyle Kalis credits the competition that the Eagles played this weekend with preparing him for the All-American game.

It may sound like lip service, but it's no joke. Kalis squared off against East teammates Darius Hamilton when St. Edward played Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep this fall, and Tyriq McCord against Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson. He has been on the opposite side of the line from those two during practices this week, and it's on the practice field - not in competition - that Kalis has never seen such talent.

Kalis knows that this will only help him become a better player. He has to maintain his focus and effort on every single play, because one mistake could mean trouble for the East's offense.

Focus and fundamentals will be Kalis' area of concentration on Saturday. His goal for the All-American game is to avoid any of those mistakes, and turn in a perfect effort. He's studying the playbook to make sure he knows all the line calls. One thing that won't come into question is his intensity on the field.

He's also looking forward to his career at the next level. After the U.S. Army game, the No. 21 player and No. 4 offensive tackle nationally (and the top prospect in Ohio, to boot) will next put on the pads in Ann Arbor this summer when fall camp starts up at Michigan.

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