Imagine you are a cornerback in the KCAC.
You are, on average, about 5-foot-10. You weigh between 180-190 pounds. You are fast and athletic.
When you walk out of the tunnel for a game against Friends this fall, you are full of confidence.
Then you line up for the first snap.
Never miss a local story.
And then you look across the line of scrimmage and see Mike Hyde.
You are toast.
"I'm really not sure what you do with that," Friends coach Monty Lewis said. "There aren't many 6-foot corners in football, and there really aren't many 6-5, 240-pound wide receivers. Those type of matchups will generally end up in your favor."
And that's usually the case with Hyde.
The senior wide receiver and Campus product had a monster season for the Falcons last year — 75 catches, 1,110 receiving yards and nine touchdowns — on the way to first-team all-KCAC honors.
This season, Hyde and fellow senior Doug Pierce (6-6, 210 pounds) both return to form what should be the premier wide receiver tandem in the league.
Or at the very least, the tallest.
"Mike isn't afraid to hold our feet to the fire, to get on us if we're not doing things exactly right," said Pierce, who had 687 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 2009. "But he doesn't do it in a condescending way, he does it like a leader should. He wants everybody to be the best they can be."
The Falcons went 8-2 last season and saw their streak of three straight KCAC titles broken by Ottawa. The Braves' dynamic wide receiver tandem of Corey Schultz and Clarence Anderson — the only two receivers who had more yards than Hyde — stole most of the headlines. Anderson returns this season.
"Clarence is a dynamic player, an incredible athlete," Hyde said. "And I can't take anything away from him or what he did last year. But for me, the most important thing is to get the KCAC title back. We know that's going to be hard, but there's nothing else to think of."
The Falcons' offense, and title hopes, took a big blow in the offseason when quarterback Tim Rozzell, an all-KCAC honorable mention pick a year ago, left the team in the offseason for personal reasons. Sophomore Jayme Bristow was tabbed as his replacement after spring practices.
"Tim leaving was difficult for everybody, but Jayme stepped in and did the work this summer," Hyde said. "He worked his butt off."
What Hyde — also an all-KCAC forward for the Friends basketball team — doesn't mention is that he was right there with Bristow every step of the way, running routes and in the weight room.
"That's Mike Hyde for you right there, just a blue-collar work ethic that he gets from his parents," Lewis said. "He is what we look for in a student athlete in that he is a straight arrow, he is fiercely loyal to his teammates and he expects that with hard work, you will get results.
"He's the kind of kid you'd want your son to grow up and be like. I wish I had 22 just like him to put out there."
KCAC will broadcast online — Live video streaming of 13 KCAC games will be available on the Internet.
The games, available at www.livestream.com/kcacsports, are: Sept. 4, Haskell at McPherson; Sept. 11, Kansas Wesleyan at Tabor; Sept. 18, Saint Mary at Kansas Wesleyan; Sept. 25, Southwestern at Saint Mary; Oct. 2, Ottawa at Southwestern and Bethel at Friends; Oct. 9, Saint Mary at McPherson and Bethany at Bethel; Oct. 16, Sterling at Tabor; Oct. 23, McPherson at Southwestern; Oct. 30, Bethany at Sterling; Nov. 6, Kansas Wesleyan at Friends; Nov. 13, Friends at Ottawa.