Southfield-Lathrup senior excels at multiple positions on the field

By: Christian Davis | Southfield Sun | Published September 21, 2011

 Southfield-Lathrup senior Jamal Lyles drops back to pass in a game earlier this season. Lyles has played a handful of positions this season and excelled at all of them, according to his coach.

Southfield-Lathrup senior Jamal Lyles drops back to pass in a game earlier this season. Lyles has played a handful of positions this season and excelled at all of them, according to his coach.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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LATHRUP VILLAGE — He threw a pass, caught a pass, rushed in for a touchdown and returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown — all in one game.

But making plays at numerous positions on both sides of the ball has been something of the norm for Southfield-Lathrup senior Jamal Lyles.

“He’s that talented,” Lathrup coach Stephon Thompson said. “You have to be careful, because some kids are a jack of all trades, but a master of none. But this kid truly can do a lot of things.

“He has good speed, good size and good strength. Actually, I should say he’s excellent in all of those things. He’s also a beast on the defensive side.”

Lyles has played quarterback, receiver, tight end and running back on offense, and on defense, he’s been a mainstay at linebacker.

Against Farmington High Sept. 16 at home, Lyles scored two touchdowns in 40 seconds. The first on a 2-yard run, the second on the fumble return.

As time dwindled, and Lathrup needed more points on the board — it lost 37-20 — the 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pounder was split wide and thrown to nearly a half dozen consectuive times.

“I try to do what I can for my team,” Lyles said. “I like to play any position, but I just do what my coaches tell me and try to do my best.”

Though Lyles admits his favorite spot is at linebacker.

“I like to hit people, I like to attack people,” he said. “My future is on defense, but I do what I can for the offense when asked.”

Lyles has verbally committed to Michigan State University, where he’s projected to play linebacker, according to Thompson.

“Jamal is a special kid. He works extremely hard, and he’s going to do well at the next level,” the coach said.

Lyles said he had interest from other schools, but knew State was the place for him.

“I like their coaching up there. Coach (Mark) Dantonio is a straightforward guy, and I just like the whole atmosphere up there,” he said. “They’re building a championship defense, and I have a lot of opportunities up there.”

Until then, Lyles is focused on getting the Chargers back to their winning ways, as Lathrup is 0-4 overall.

“We don’t have a lot of players so we need to keep working hard at practice, and we’ll get a win,” he said. “I think we can finish strong in our last five games.”

Catch the Chargers against Farmington Hills Harrison at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at home.
 

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