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44 DAYS TO 2018 KICKOFF: Kyle Ball

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In which BracketCat counts down the 44th day until the 2018 kickoff with a profile of defensive end Kyle Ball.

#44 Kyle Ball
At times last season, Kyle Ball (44) ran away from the competition at defensive end. At other times, he wasn’t on the field at all. I truly hope he can be steady and consistent for us this year opposite Reggie Walker.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

#44 Kyle Ball

True Junior | 6-2 | 246 lbs. | Prairie Village, Kansas
Kyle Ball
Kyle Ball
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive End
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Kyle Alan Ball (b. July 27, 1996) is a tough-minded player who was a significant contributor in his first two years and will compete for a starting spot at defensive end as a junior.

Ball saw action in five games as a true freshman in 2016, 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.

Ball then saw action in 11 games in 2017 as both a third-down pass rush specialist and a reserve defensive end, carding 17 tackles on the year to go along with 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He tied for first in the Big 12 and 26th nationally with two fumbles recovered.

Ball had a career-high 1.5 sacks at Oklahoma State, a game in which he also set a new career high with four tackles and forced a fumble.

The first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree returned a fumble 22 yards against Central Arkansas and also recovered one against Baylor, while he had three tackles and a sack at Kansas.

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 finance.