The Cleveland Browns have a hole at right guard. Even though Austin Corbett is the favorite, the Browns are giving Kyle Kalis every chance to win the job.
The Cleveland Browns employ one of the more controversial figures in Ohio sports. For all the talk of quarterback Baker Mayfield’s antics, it was guard Kyle Kalis who roused the anger of Ohio fans a few short years ago.
If the name Kyle Kalis sounds familiar, it should. But before going any further it is important to make one important distinction.
Kalis is not to be confused with the Klingon Kahless the Unforgettable. This is not the Kahless who united the Klingon Empire. Not the Kahless who killed the tyrant Molor by fashioning the first every Bat’leth by dipping his hair into the lava of the Kri-stak volcano. This is not the Kahless who fought off an entire army at the Battle of Three Turn Bridge. Nonetheless, the spirit of Kahless could reside within Kalis.
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Coming out of St. Edward High School in Lakewood Ohio, Kyle Kalis originally committed to Ohio State. But when the Buckeyes were hit with penalties after the Terrelle Pryor indiscretions, he decided to flip his commitment to the University of Michigan instead. He (in)famously stood in the middle of Michigan’s stadium on the “M” logo and stated:
"I believe the Michigan-Ohio border is now open. I think you’re going to see eight or nine guys from the state of Ohio going over to Michigan this year. – Kalis via ESPN"
Of course, this incited the furor of Ohio State fans, some of whom are overly zealous about college football. Sadly, threats ensued. One particular fan hoped that Kalis would tear his ACL. Kalis responded.
"There are really a lot of stupid people out there. I’d get people telling me they wanted me to tear my ACL. I got plenty of threats. I know it was bad, but I gave my address out to about 20 people and told them to come find me. Nobody came. – Kalis via Yahoo Sports"
Somewhere, Kahless is roaring in approval. But that was not the last of it.
As the threats continued, Kalis made a comment that would make Kahless the Unforgettable proud. In the process, Kalis made himself unforgettable to Ohio State fans. He stated:
"There will be blood on the field and it won’t be mine. … Quote it. Let them know. – Kalis via Yahoo Sports"
In 2016, Kalis was voted 2nd-team All-Big Ten and 2nd-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. But his career versus Ohio State did not fare well. The Wolverines lost to the Buckeyes (don’t they always?) every year of Kalis’ college career. For all his accolades, Kalis went undrafted in 2017. Maybe Kalis chose the wrong college back in 2012.
Now Kalis is getting his chance to play in the state of Ohio. He has impressed enough during OTA’s and mini-camp that he has been taking reps with the first-team. Senior staff writer Andrew Gribble of the Browns’ official team website calls Kalis a “potential surprise” starter at right guard.
I am rooting for Kalis. Browns fans should as well. With his attitude he will be a lot of fun to watch. Plus, everyone loves the local boy looking to make it in the NFL with his hometown team. If he wins the job, it will be Kalis’ warrior spirit (the spirit of Khaless?) that will help him succeed.