Kare’ Lyles is a year older than his brother, but don’t call Kayden ‘little brother.’ There is nothing little about Kayden Lyles, an athletic, genetic freak who, at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, can do the splits, flips on a trampoline and runs 40 yards in 5.1 seconds.
“I’ve never seen a kid that size do the splits,” Saguaro football coach Jason Mohns said. “It’s amazing.”
Kayden can’t move mountains, but he is already a mountain of a kid getting double-digits scholarship offers from big-name universities, such as Wisconsin, Arizona State, and now Ohio State, before starting his sophomore season.
Kare’, a 6-1, 210-pound junior quarterback, is on Ohio State’s radar, but the Buckeyes, like so many schools, are waiting to see game film. He has none, after backing up Luke Rubenzer, one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to light up scoreboards in Arizona prep history.
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Kare’ is a charismatic pocket passer with a big, accurate arm.
“He ran scout team for us last year and that helped out our defense,” said Mohns, who directed Saguaro to the Division III championship last season. “We would look at each other as coaches, and say, ‘We’ll be OK next year.’ ”
The Lyles landed in Scottsdale after Kare’s freshman season at Phoenix Desert Vista. The family moved, and Kayden suddenly found himself starting varsity after the first game because of an injury to a starting offensive lineman.
Mohns moved him to right tackle, and his confidence grew with each game. He immediately gave Saguaro more size on the line. He’ll stay at right tackle next season, and could find himself playing more on the defensive line because of his strength and explosive bursts.
“He’s one the most athletic linemen you’ll see,” Mohns said. “And he’s got a nasty streak. He’s tough and physical.”
Off the field, Kayden is soft-spoken, humble and talks about just being thrilled to play alongside his brother next season.
“Our dad taught us to be humble, to keep things in perspective,” Kayden said. “I have to stay humble with this.”
Kevin Lyles was a quarterback-turned-tight end during his college days at Wisconsin, playing on a Rose Bowl-winning team in the 1990s when former Chaparral quarterback and current Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was the quarterback.
Kare’ and Kayden have their father’s greatest athletic traits.
“I’ve been ready for this opportunity since transferring to Saguaro High School,” Kare’ said. “On the bus ride home from Tucson (after capturing the state title last season), I was thinking, ‘It’s my team now.’ ”
Even though the younger brother has been getting big-college offer after big-college offer since the end of last season, when Kayden was named to MaxPreps’ freshmen All-American team, Kare’ has never felt left out.
“I’ve never been jealous of my brother,” Kare’ said. “Since he was younger, he always had the pursuit to be the best. The 10 offers shows how dedicated he is.”
Mohns said Kare’s progression will be similar to that of Rubenzer during his sophomore season when he was more distributor than play-maker, getting the ball to all-everything D.J. Foster en route to a state title.
Lyles has play-maker Christian Kirk by his side. Kirk, a receiver/running back, makes a lot of people look great.
Kayden can’t wait to block for Kare’, Kirk and others.
“It will be exciting with Kare’ in the backfield and I’m blocking for him,” Kayden said. “I’m just going to keep working harder.”
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