Kyle Kuhar always knew he was going to play football at the college level, and Saturday he decided where it would be.
After a junior season that saw the 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end record 13 sacks in leading Avon Lake into the playoffs, Kuhar orally committed to the Ohio University. He chose the Bobcats over Western Michigan, Ball State and the University of Buffalo.
“The proximity to home and the beautiful campus, those were two of the biggest reasons I chose Ohio University,” Kuhar said. “They also have a great communications school and that’s what I want to study. It was a great situation for me.
“The campus is small and everything is right there … the football stadium is right by the dorms and there is incredible student support. And their head coach (Frank Solich) is a winner that has won for a long time. Getting to play for a guy like that is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to get started.”
Kuhar will be joining a defensive line that needs help. Last season, the Bobcats were fourth in the Mid-American Conference in total defense and sixth in pass defense, but they did not have a player in the top 20 in sacks or tackles for a loss in the conference.
“They are getting a steal,” Avon Lake coach Larry Laird said about Ohio University bringing Kuhar to Athens. “He’s a great kid with a great attitude who at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds can really move and has great footwork. Kyle’s a high-motor kid that, for his size, is very athletic. He’s played basketball and is the starting first baseman on the baseball team.
“He runs a 4.8 40-yard dash and is quick. Someone that size running that fast … that’s really moving.”
Kuhar is joining a conference with which he is very familiar.
“I grew up a fan of the Big Ten, but I’ve always loved the Mid-American Conference,” he said. “It’s great football, the schools are always very competitive and the teams play a wide-open style. It’s a lot of fun to watch and I am looking forward to being a part of it.”
Laird thinks the Bobcats are getting someone that can help them a great deal.
“Kyle is a very good pass rusher,” Laird said. “He has a quick first step, is incredibly physical and has a great punch. We call the first contact the punch and when Kyle punches, the opponent knows he’s been hit.
“He has always been one of those kids that leads by example. Both in the weight room and on the practice field, he wasn’t the one out there yelling and screaming … he would do things the right way and let the younger players see how to do it. He’s been a great part of our program.”
Despite the fact that he will be over three hours away, Kuhar intends to stay very close to the Avon Lake program.
“I will always follow Shoremen football and will always be a Shoreman,” he said. “I’m going to miss the coaches and my teammates deeply and they’re always going to be really good friends. I hope to represent them and Avon Lake well.”
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.