Tayvonn Kyle a 'clean cut' fit at Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- In just a few months, cornerback Tayvonn Kyle has already made a clean cut impression on his new Virginia teammates both on the field and in the chair.
"First interactions with Tayvonn, I was going to Jonas [Sanker]'s house and he was just giving Amaad Foston a haircut," junior safety Lex Long said, "He was just being the old head spouting out wisdom and knowledge and we were all just looking at him like what else has he got to say."
Fellow transfer Ugonna Nnanna, an offensive lineman from Houston, had high ratings for his new teammate with the clippers.
"I give him a good 8.5-9," Nnanna said, "He knows what he's doing for sure, he got me right last time, I need to go back and hit him up again."
The son of a barber, Kyle never paid for a haircut until arriving at Iowa State and one bad cut inspired him to start up his own shop.
"To go out there and not only pay for a haircut, but pay for something and not really getting what you want, that kind of set the trigger for me and I'm like 'okay I got to do it myself," Kyle said, "Just one foot in front of the other and the next day you know I was cutting 10-12 guys on the team."
Now in Charlottesville his operation is slowly growing with at least five players, but not everyone is jumping in the chair.
"That's a hilarious question because my dad's a barber and I've never gotten my haircut by anybody else in my 22 years of life," sixth-year defensive back Coen King said, "So Tayvonn I respect his craft, but I don't think I'd let him cut my hair."
"Not yet, I kind of don't let new people cut my hair, I've gotten a little burned," UNC transfer safety Cam'Ron Kelly said laughing, "But I've seen a couple guys and they got good cuts from him."
There was little hesitation for the Cavaliers embracing Kyle as a leader, bringing the same 'old head' wisdom to a young UVA cornerback group after losing two All-ACC players in Anthony Johnson and Fentrell Cypress.
"I think he's just been a great mentor," UVA defensive backs coach Curome Cox said, "Will Simpkins has made more strides in his first three practices than I had him all year. That's a testament to Will, but also just that leadership that Tayvonn came in and made Will, I believe in you."
The veteran is easy to spot at practice, although reserved at times off the field, Kyle is quick to ask questions and is active throughout drills with encouragement. Cox said when recruiting Kyle, one of the former All-Big 12 honorees first questions was how available his new position coach would be.
"Just creating an energy that everybody can feed off of, being a guy that everybody can look to in each and every aspect and be like this is how you're supposed to do it," Kyle said, "Being a model 'Hoo, that's my main purpose here."
One of the key selling factors for Kyle about UVA was the program's story to be told and now Kyle will now help shape the next part of the story for Virginia.
"They had something to fight for and I know I heard a lot of similarities between what [head coach Tony Elliott] preaching here and what I was hearing at Iowa State," Kyle said, "It was winning environment, people that cared about each other and knew what direction they were headed in, so that was an invitation I couldn't really deny."