The Lake Stevens High School football team will be without its Pac-12-bound left tackle for at least most of the upcoming season.
Standout two-way lineman and Washington State University commit Devin Kylany is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which he suffered during February’s state wrestling tournament.
Kylany likely will miss the regular season but said he’s eyeing a postseason return, should the reigning Class 4A state runner-up Vikings advance to the playoffs. The postseason begins Nov. 8 with the Week 10 winner-to-state round.
“That’s the hope,” Kylany said. “So far, the plan is to be back for postseason. And if (my doctor) releases me, I’m playing.”
Kylany, a three-star prospect, is the state’s fourth-ranked senior offensive lineman and 15th-ranked overall senior recruit, according to 247Sports.com.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound left tackle was part of a dominant offensive line last season that played a key role in the Vikings’ run to the 4A state title game. Particularly fast and agile for his size, Kylany helped pave the way for a powerful rushing attack that averaged a whopping 7.6 yards per carry and 250 yards per game.
In addition to receiving first-team Herald All-Area honors on offense, Kylany was a second-team All-Wesco 4A defensive lineman. He also was the first junior in at least two decades to be named a Lake Stevens football team captain.
“It’s tough when you lose a guy like Devin,” Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri said. “You (can’t) replace him. You just hope that other guys step up to the occasion.”
With Kylany sidelined, the Vikings’ offensive line figures to lean on the senior duo of 6-foot-5, 300-pound left guard Logan Bruce and center Wyatt Hall. Bruce is a three-star prospect who’s ranked by 247Sports.com as the 28th overall senior recruit in the state, and Hall is set to be a four-year starter.
“I feel like we have enough guys that we’re going to be just fine on the line,” Tri said. “And then (if we) get Devin back (if) we get into the playoffs, that will just make us that much more playoff-ready.”
Kylany said his injury occurred at the Mat Classic when his round-of-16 opponent kicked his left knee on an attempted foot sweep. Kylany lost that match and attempted to wrestle in his ensuing consolation bout, but took an injury default.
Kylany’s surgery was performed by UW Medicine’s Dr. Albert Gee, who operated on Cincinnati Bengals receiver and former University of Washington football star John Ross after his ACL injury. Ross went on to run a record-breaking time of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine two years ago.
“My mom thinks he’s going to make me run a 4.2 like John Ross,” Kylany said with a laugh.
Kylany said he’s been doing physical therapy and working with an ACL recovery specialist.
“I love the way I can move around right now,” Kylany said. “I feel good.”
Despite his injury, Kylany has been a vocal leader during the Vikings’ offseason activities. During last Saturday’s 7-on-7 passing tournament at Lakewood High School, Kylany was on the sidelines supporting and encouraging his teammates.
“He’s awesome,” Tri said. “He’s full of energy. He could easily pout. He could easily not be here. … We’ve had other kids like that, and then they just kind of stop showing up. Not Devin. He’s the first one here (and) the last one to leave. He’s pumping up our guys.
“We’re getting our butts kicked by Lincoln (during Saturday’s 7-on-7 tournament) and he’s over here still positive and trying to get our guys going. I mean, that’s the kind of energy you just can’t replace. So even though he won’t be on the field, at least I feel like on the sideline, he’ll be an extra coach.”