Great Grad: Khatib Lyles, Psychology | College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
May 7, 2023

Great Grad: Khatib Lyles, Psychology

Faith and Service: Those are Khatib Lyles's two most important guiding principles.

It was a combination of faith and football that brought Khatib to UNT four years ago, and it'll be a dedication to service that will shape his path after he leaves Denton.

As a 2019 graduate of El Paso's Parkland High School, the young wide receiver was on the receiving end of 19 scholarship offers from universities like Columbia, Dartmouth and Yale, to name a few. But with so many options in front of him, Khatib struggled to pick a lane, and before long the wide receiver slots on those 19 teams started to fill. He quickly went from having too many schools to choose from, to none.

"I was confused and didn't know what to do," Khatib says. "All I could do was pray to God and allow him to direct my path."

That direction came when he received a call from the UNT coaching staff notifying him another player had decommitted and they had one last scholarship to offer. This time Khatib didn't hesitate.

"It was like God was directing me to UNT," he says. "From that point on it's just been a blessing to be here."

Throughout his time at UNT, Khatib's faith has grown stronger. He participated in weekly Bible studies with a handful of his football teammates, participated in activities through the Campus Outreach student organization and multiple local churches, and was even baptized in Denton.

As Khatib's faith increased, so did his desire to serve others. Initially enrolling as a kinesiology major, Khatib's path was once again influenced by the Mean Green Football program as he made the switch to psychology.

"After meeting with the sports psychologist, I understood the opportunity I would have to serve other people," he says. "That encouraged me to learn more about psychology and increased my desire to help others."

With the goal of becoming a sports psychologist and two more years of NCAA eligibility, Khatib plans to play football at Austin Peay University in Tennessee while earning his master's in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. After completing his degree, he hopes to build a career dedicated to helping young athletes.

"Having played football, I can really relate to athletes who may be going through the same struggles I endured," Khatib says. "Helping young athletes overcome barriers would allow me to give back and serve others."