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Lakewood's Baxter finds way to play with Reivers

By DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 2/13/20

Kyliek Baxter has never been to the state of Iowa, but he can find it on a map.

That's a good thing for the massive Lakewood High School lineman since he will be going there to play football.

Baxter recently signed to play with Iowa Western …

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Lakewood's Baxter finds way to play with Reivers

Posted

Kyliek Baxter has never been to the state of Iowa, but he can find it on a map.

That's a good thing for the massive Lakewood High School lineman since he will be going there to play football.

Baxter recently signed to play with Iowa Western Community College, one of the top junior college programs in the country.

"It's really a great opportunity," the 6-foot-4-inch, 320-pound Baxter said. "I get to continue to play football, show my skills, maybe get recruited by some larger prospects like Alabama and Clemson."

Baxter had plenty of Football Bowl Subdivision schools looking at him, including South Carolina, North Carolina and Clemson. He had to go the junior college route to get his grades in order, but Power 5 conference offers are expected to come his way after two seasons in Council Bluff, Iowa.

Lakewood head coach Larry Cornelius said that all of the major JCs were recruiting Baxter heavily. He thinks Iowa Western is a good fit for Baxter.

Baxter, who will be joined at Iowa Western by Sumter High's Sterling Porcher and Crestwood's Kalus Benjamin, said there was one main reason he picked Iowa Western.

"They are known for putting linemen to the next level," Baxter said.

Which side of the line Baxter will be lining up on is still up in the air.

Lakewood assistant coach Robbie Wright thinks Baxter will be successful whether on offense or defense.

"He's a lineman, whether offensive or defensive," said Wright, Lakewood's O-line coach. "He's great at both. I think he has a higher ceiling as an offensive lineman. Whichever one he ends up with over there, he's going to be great at both."

Baxter said he has a preference as to which side he'd like to play on, but he thinks he may have a higher ceiling on the other side.

"I personally would like to be defense, but I think on offense I have a better chance to go farther."