Allen Park — Rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy arrived at Lions minicamp a married man after wedding his longtime girlfriend Marissa Powell, a former Miss Utah, last weekend.
But before the couple can take a honeymoon to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Van Noy said he’s happy to be back on the field for a few days.
Van Noy, a second-round pick out of BYU, sat out last week’s organized team activities because of a recent back injury but returned to the field for the first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday. So far, the rookies haven’t spent much time with the starters, but he hopes that will change quickly in training camp next month.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t itch for (more reps),” Van Noy said. “Of course I want to get out on the field, but when pads come on, that’s when the true colors show and that’s when things start happening. Hopefully then I’m able to get back out there and get more reps.”
Coach Jim Caldwell praised what he’s seen from Van Noy thus far, but said he’d withhold more judgment until he sees all of the rookies in padded practices.
“We can see the physical tools that he has from being able to run,” Caldwell said. “He’s smart, he wants to be good, he’s diligent about his work, he listens (and) he asks great questions. I mean, all the good things (are) there.”
The Lions have high expectations for the 6-foot-3, 243-pound Van Noy, especially considering general manager Martin Mayhew labeled him a starter immediately after the draft last month. Van Noy will likely start at strongside linebacker but will also play stand-up defensive end in the nickel package.
“Last week, even though I was not taking part in practice, the mental reps of every position that I’m looking at and playing, that helped out a ton,” he said. “I feel more relaxed. I know the guys a little bit more. I know what it’s like to be a pro, and just taking the next step each day at a time.”
Being married, meanwhile, doesn’t feel much different for Van Noy because he and his wife dated for a few years.
Van Noy’s only concern is Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah, a teammate at BYU and one of his groomsmen, may have some embarrassing videos from the occasion.
“He has probably some videos of us dancing that aren’t going to be going anywhere, so that’s good,” Van Noy said. “But we had a good time. I was happy he could come out and support me and be a part of my family event.”