During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Up next in our player profile series, Kayden Lyles.
Name: Kayden Lyles
2020 eligibility: redshirt junior
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 4-star, No. 14 offensive guard, Middleton
2017 recruitment: The highest ranked commit in the 2017 recruiting class, Kayden Lyles was a highly sought after prospect for the Badgers. A legacy recruit on multiple levels, Lyles followed the footsteps of his father Kevin, who played football at Wisconsin from 1993 to 1996, as well as his older brother Kare who was on the roster at the time of his commitment prior to transferring to Southern Illinois.
Despite offers to play all around the country at places such as USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Notre Dame, ultimately the opportunity to play at Wisconsin was too much. Lyles committed to the Badgers back in October of 2015, and was a cornerstone player to his class.
Career statistics: 25 games, 11 total starts at left guard and defensive end, seven tackles, one fumble recovery.
2019 statistics: 13 games played, four starts at left guard
Player overview: After a redshirt season, Kayden Lyles switched to the defensive side of the ball due to injuries to the defensive line heading into his redshirt freshman season. While playing out of position, he admirably helped the coaching staff weather the storm of injuries that decimated the Badgers that year.
Last season Lyles was finally able to return to the offensive line, his more natural position, and he saw time in a platoon role at left guard. While he did not take over the role in a full-time capacity, the season definitely gave him invaluable experience moving towards 2020 where he will be pushing for a role as a consistent starter along the line.
Best case scenario for 2020: Lyles is able to come into fall camp fully healthy, and immediately grabs the reigns of the starting center role for the Badgers. At 6-foot-3 and over 320 pounds, Lyles has size and athleticism that perfectly fit the center position. The redshirt junior has a breakout season at the position, and takes over for Tyler Biadasz as one of the leaders of the offensive line and earns conference honors at season end.
Likely role on team in 2020: After a late injury cut his season short last season, Lyles has been rehabbing in anticipation for the season. At this juncture Lyles would likely be the preferred option at center, but he could potentially play one of the guard positions if a different player makes huge strides at center.
Assuming he is healthy, Lyles will be a starter for the Badgers and he appears to be a player that could really blossom into an excellent player within the interior of the line for the next two seasons at Wisconsin.