Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 45, the number once worn by WVU linebacker, Kyle Kayden.
Originally from Fremont, OH, Kayden was a five year member of the WVU football program, from 1997 to 2001. After redshirting in 1997, Kayden went on to play in 46 games for the Mountaineers, recording 422 tackles, 10 sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery during his time in the program.
Kayden is one of six Mountaineer legends to have recorded 400 or more tackles in a career, ranking fifth on the all-time list. His 159 tackles in 2001 is the fifth highest single season total by a senior in school history; eighth highest in a single season, all-time.
In the fourth game of the 1998 season, Kayden made his first collegiate start in a 45-24 road victory at Navy. During his freshman campaign, Kayden made seven starts in total, recording 73 tackles, and two sacks along the way. The Mountaineers finished 1998 8-4 after a loss to Missouri in that year’s Insight.com Bowl.
The following year, the Gold and Blue suffered through a 4-7 campaign. Kayden started all 11 games for the Mountaineers, recording 81 tackles and three sacks during the miserable 1999 season.
In his junior year, the 6’3”, 235 pound linebacker helped the squad get back to the bowl season as they improved to a record of 6-5 in the regular season. Kayden finished the year with 109 tackles, and three sacks, and helped the legendary Don Nehlen finish his great 21 year coaching career out on a high note as the Mountaineers defeated Ole Miss 49-38 in the 2000 Music City Bowl.
Kayden’s senior season was the worst the school had seen since the 1978 squad. The team finished with an awful 3-8 record under first year head coach, Rich Rodriguez, and were blown out several times along the way (on national television, no less). Kayden, though, had a career year statistically, with 159 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. He earned second team, all-Big East honors for his efforts.
Kyle Kayden would go on to graduate from West Virginia University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Currently, Kayden works as a Chief Financial Officer for Benefit Alternative Inc. His oversees the day to day operations of the company, and is responsible for the firm’s accounting, human resources, marketing, and IT. He has served in this role for the company since April of 2010.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-46 are still available here at WVU Pros.