|« An American Football In Parma, Week 4||An ETSU Football Recovery Could Be In New Conference »|
Ex-Alabama Signee Trying to Catch on with GSU
Kyles not eligible until 2009.
STATESBORO - Nick Kyles is working hard today for a shot at playing tomorrow.
He’s a 6-foot-2, 198-pound wide receiver in Georgia Southern’s spring football camp, a junior who won’t be eligible until the 2009 season after transferring from Division II Albany State.
But the Eagles’ coaching staff sees a hidden talent who is big, strong and runs good routes.
So Kyles wants to keep impressing his new coaches and hopes for delayed rewards.
“I just wanted to spend my last two years with some good coaching,” he said. “At Albany State, I liked what they did, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t think I had an opportunity to play like I can play. Here they put you in positions to make plays.”
Only a few years ago, Kyles was among the state’s top receivers. He caught more than 50 passes and accumulated more than 1,000 receiving yards during both his junior and senior years at Baldwin High School in Milledgeville. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds and was ranked as the 20th-best wide receiver in the state, according to Rivals.com.
Kyles signed a letter of intent with Alabama, but after falling short on his ACT, re-opened his recruitment and planned on playing at Mississippi State.
He said he originally had offers from Auburn, Florida and Georgia.
“When I saw him (the first time in camp), I was like, ‘Who is that?’” said GSU wide receivers coach Ron Dugans. “I feel like we’re getting a kid that wants to compete. Every time he runs routes and blocks downfield, he’s always looking at the coaches to make sure he’s doing the right thing. He’s showing me right now he’s coachable.
“He has all the physical tools. Now I have to see what his hands are like.”
Kyles had a disappointing sophomore season at Albany State. Despite catching a touchdown pass in the season opener against North Carolina Central and making two receptions for 68 yards the next week against Valdosta State, he hauled in only three more passes the rest of the season.
Hoping for a new start, Kyles transferred to GSU. And hoping to get a good start with the Eagles, Kyles enrolled in school in January to be eligible to compete in spring workouts.
“Right now, I’m just learning,” Kyles said. “All the guys I’m behind, I can see what they do right and I can learn from them. … When I get my opportunity to play, I know I’m going to make something happen.”
There should be plenty of chances in 2009. The Eagles will lose senior wide receivers Raja Andrews, Michael McIntosh, Irving Campbell and Tim Camp after next season.
And by 2009, Kyles will have had ample workout time with GSU’s quarterbacks. This spring, a freshman and two sophomore quarterbacks are in camp vying for the starting job.
“We’re not giving (Kyles) a really good look right now because he won’t be eligible, but he’s running around, he’s learning, and he’s doing a good job when he’s out there,” GSU coach Chris Hatcher said.
Ex-Alabama signee trying to catch on with GSU
By Donald Heath, The Savannah Morning News