Top SEC target: Christian Kirk still deciding between SEC, Pac 12
Few prep stars in America possess the dynamic athleticism five-star wideout Christian Kirk seems to have in excess.
The Scottsdale, Arizona prospect caught more than 60 passes in back-to-back seasons, went over 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons and rushed for at least 800 yards each of the last two years. He’s nearly impossible to contain when he gets the ball in space, and that includes when he’s returning punts.
We’ll find out Wednesday where Kirk will be putting his athleticism on display next season. According to Rivals’ reporter Rob Cassidy, Kirk is expected to announce his commitment early Wednesday afternoon (Eastern time), and 247 Sports’ recruiting experts expect him to choose between Arizona State (located within 20 miles of Scottsdale), Auburn and Texas A&M.
Five-Star Chritian Kirk will announce his commitment at 11:45 AM (PT) on Wednesday. I'll be there alongside the young man, @bangulo
— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) December 15, 2014
Wherever he decides to enroll, he’ll do so this spring, opting to graduate from high school a semester early in order to involve himself in the NCAA’s spring practice season in a few months. And wherever he attends, he’ll have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on the offense.
247 regards Kirk as its No. 27 player at any position in the class of 2015 and as the No. 4 receiver in the class. He runs a sub-4.5 40 yard dash, but more importantly he possesses the ability to change directions at full-speed without any hitch or giddy up.
Kirk’s athleticism will allow whichever offense he joins to use him in plenty of creative ways. He can line up in the backfield or on the outside, he can carry the ball on reverses, catch bubble screens or quick slants, and, of course, he can stretch the field with blazing speed that cannot be taught.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kirk lean toward the hometown Sun Devils when he commits on Wednesday. Head coach Todd Graham currently boasts the nation’s No. 26 recruiting class (according to 247) and the No. 4 class in the Pac 12.
Kirk would have the chance to replace All-American wideout Jaelen Strong, who is likely to depart from ASU and declare for the draft, and he’d have the chance to join four-star quarterback Brady White and four-star wideout Trent Irwin as part of the Sun Devils’ future core.
And, of course, he’d have a chance to stay close to home while also playing in one of the hottest conferences in the FBS. There are plenty of positives associated with Arizona State, but the two SEC schools he’s considering — Auburn and Texas A&M — also offer their fair share of advantages.
Gus Malzahn’s spread rushing attack actually benefits big-play wideouts more than most fans realize. Yes, Auburn’s offense is predicated on running the ball out of spread formations, using misdirection as the ultimate weapon.
But if Duke Williams and Sammie Coates taught us anything, it’s that receivers capable of stretching the field will be able to thrive in Malzahn’s system.
Texas A&M loves to spread the field with four- and five-wide receiver packages, giving plenty of wideouts a chance to catch passes in space with an opportunity to run.
This would seem to benefit Kirk most of all, but it’s worth mentioning that A&M brought in Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones last year and have already earned commitments from promising wideouts Kemah Siverand and Damion Ratley this year.
Although Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies have no trouble getting receivers onto the field, Kirk would have plenty of competition for playing time in an offense loaded at the position.
We’re less than 24 hours away from Kirk’s decision, and fans from his hometown of Scottsdale and fans of the SEC alike will be waiting with bated breath for his official announcement.
He’s fast, agile and instinctual. Or, to put it in simpler terms, he’s a five-star talent in every sense of the title.