Hometown: Fremont, OH
Record: 22-24, Bowl Record: 1-1
Kyle Kayden was one of the shining stars for the Mountaineers during the twilight of Coach Don Nehlen’s Hall of Fame career. Kayden was such a talent that the coaching staff had to play him during his freshman season. He would rotate into the defensive lineup his freshman and sophomore seasons before assuming the starting role of middle linebacker. He was stout in the middle of the defense, compiling 422 career tackles and 10 sacks. During his senior season, Coach Rich Rodriguez’s first in Morgantown, his play earned him 2nd team All-Big East and an All-America mention.
Memorable Game: Kayden set his career mark for sacks during the 1999 season against Miami (OH). The Mountaineers had begun the season with a tough road loss to East Carolina. A home matchup with the Miami Redhawks was exactly what the Mountaineers needed. The Redhawk offense moved the ball up and down the field on the Mountaineers. The defense did an admirable job keeping Miami from scoring more than they did that day. Kyle Kayden had 2 key sacks that sputtered the Miami offense. The Mountaineers, behind the running of Avon Cobourne, would outscore Miami, winning the game 43-27.
Competition: Kayden had the most impressive statistics of any of the players to wear #45 for the Mountaineers. His career stood out during the decline of Coach Nehlen’s tenure. Some other notables to mention include Steve Hathaway, Robert Pickett, Darrick Wiley, and Brad Palmer.
Teaser: Tomorrow the blog features the career of another member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame. This player was a great running back and a solid tight end. He would later be drafted to the NFL to block for a Hall of Fame running back in frigid Buffalo. As we all learned from According to Jim, there are consequences to playing football on frozen fields.