Lyles speaks on his time at SIU and being in the transfer portal

By Ryan Scott, Sports Editor

SIU senior quarterback Kare Lyles entered the transfer portal in search of a new university after 13 games at SIU, with a 6-5 starting record.

On May 5, Lyles announced that he was entering the transfer portal with one year of eligibility remaining. He suffered a rib injury just before halftime of the Salukis spring opener vs North Dakota on Feb. 20 and had to exit the game.

He then missed the team’s next three games. Lyles entered in the second half of the March 20 loss to South Dakota State but didn’t play the remainder of the season. Lyles watched as the Salukis upset the #1 ranked North Dakota State Bison with sophomore Nic Baker at quarterback.

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“I feel like it was a blessing in disguise and I have to appreciate it because I was able to soak in all of it on the sideline,” Lyles said.

After Baker suffered a season-ending injury junior quarterback Stone Labanowitz took over and led the Salukis to their first playoff appearance and win since 2009.

“Personally it made me more selfless as a person and as a player, that’s your job as a quarterback and that’s your job as a team captain … I had an opportunity to be a part of a team that played in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. It’s kind of mission accomplished, regardless of what your status is, and what you are as an individual,” Lyles said

Lyles was previously in the transfer portal before coming to the Salukis in 2019.

“With COVID as well, I feel like it’s lessened the opportunities out there. As far as being a six year guy, when I transferred out I still had some youth in me. It’s funny how it works in college football, but it was only my second year so I knew that options were going to be available once I put my name out there, but the process now is pretty much the same,” Lyles said.

Lyles  said he’s already gotten his bachelor’s from SIU in university studies and is currently working on a graduate degree in professional media management. He said  he will get an opportunity to look for another university that could be better suited for him academically.

“I think the plus side of it is it gives me an opportunity to look again, and see if maybe there’s another program that’s best out there,” Lyles said.

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After the NCAA changed their rules regarding athlete compensation from name, image and likeness, Lyles said his brother Kayden is a offensive lineman at the University of Wisconsin and thinks the NCAA change could benefit them both.

“I’m excited for the guys who have the opportunity to increase their brand and level up. I’m so happy for my brother and I’m so happy for everybody who gets to take advantage of that opportunity,” Lyles said.

Sports editor Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @ryanscott134

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