SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Kyle Frazier has always been a big boy, and he’s almost always had a love of football.
“When Kyle first put the pads on at like age nine, it was over,” laughs his mother, Kenya James.
That love for the sport helped him become pretty good at it too. Frazier was a first-team all-region selection for his play on the defensive line and an all-area selection as an offensive lineman.
He performed well enough at Augusta’s Glenn Hills High School to catch the attention of Savannah State head football coach Shawn Quinn.
“I thought he had good twitch,” Quinn remembers. “I loved the fact that he played both ways and he never came off the field.”
After a recruiting visit to campus, Frazier committed to the Tigers. He signed with Savannah State in February. Everything seemed to be going his way.
Until two weeks ago, when Frazier and his mother made a call they never expected to make to Quinn.
“Hey listen, Kyle has cancer...” Quinn heard on the line.
Frazier was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a shocking development for a kid who seemingly had the whole world in front of him just days before.
“I was about to go off and live a dream that I’ve had my entire high school career," Frazier says. “It hit home.”
Undeterred, Kyle was not going to stop being positive.
“He asked two questions,” James says. “First, is it treatable? Second, can I still play football?”
The answers: yes and probably.
As Frazier became to come to terms with the battle in front of him, Quinn made sure the Augusta native knew when he got back on the football field, he’d do it as a Savannah State Tiger.
“When things get tough, you don’t tuck tail and run. You fight and you stand your ground,” Quinn says. “He had a lot of schools pursuing him, and he stuck with us. So the one thing we want to do is make sure to stick with him.”
Quinn and the Tigers will honor Frazier’s scholarship through his treatment. Fortunately, the prognosis is good. He won’t join the team this fall as he goes through chemo, but is expected to enroll in school in January.
The hope is for Kyle to join the team in spring practice in 2020.
For Frazier, that’s not just a hope. It’s a done deal.
“God wanted to test my faith. He gave me this big test," Frazier says. "I just know I’m fixing to pass it.”