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44 DAYS TO 2017 KICKOFF: Kyle Ball

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In which BracketCat counts down the 44th day until the 2017 kickoff with a profile of defensive end Kyle Ball.

#44 Kyle Ball
Kyle Ball (44) made a big splash with a sack on his very first career play. He saw time in five games in 2016 and should be a much bigger part of the rotation at defensive end this season.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

#44 Kyle Ball

True Sophomore | 6-2 | 241 lbs. | Prairie Village, Kansas
Kyle Ball
Kyle Ball
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive End
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter (Tie)
  • Status: On Scholarship

Kyle Alan Ball (b. July 27, 1996) is a tough-minded linebacker who showed flashes during his true freshman campaign. He will compete for a starting spot at defensive end in 2017.

Ball saw action in five games last year, against Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas A&M. He recorded a sack on his first career play against Texas and came back with another the next week at Iowa State, totaling two tackles against the Cyclones.

A three-year letter-winner at Shawnee Mission High School East under head coach Dustin Delaney, Ball helped to lead the Lancers to a perfect 13-0 record and the school’s first-ever state championship in 2014.

He recorded 118 tackles, including 37 for loss, and 10 sacks as a senior en route to being named one of the top 12 players in the state by the Kansas Football Coaches Association and to the organization’s all-state Class 6A team.

Ball also was named one of the top 11 players in the state and named to the All-Class 6A team by The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Wichita Eagle. He earned the Ryan Lilja Award as the Top Kansas Big Class Lineman and was named the Sunflower League Player of the Year.

A finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the most outstanding lineman in the Kansas City area, Ball also was a first-team all-metro selection by the Star and was selected to play in the 2015 Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game.

He was named to the USA Today/American Family Insurance All-USA Kansas Team as a junior after totaling 119 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

Ball, an Eagle Scout who accumulated a 3.9 grade-point average during his high school career, also competed in basketball and track. He is majoring in engineering.