Kirk continues to impress

Much has already been written regarding the quality of in-state prospects in the 2013 and 2014 classes, but the 2015 class is starting to showcase some talent as well. Scottsdale Saguaro's wide receiver, Christian Kirk, is leading the charge of that group. Whether it's locally at ASU's camp or regionally at a Nike camp, Kirk is already making his mark.

In last week's Arizona State's team camp, Christian Kirk was one of the youngest participants, yet also one of the standouts in that event.

"I just wanted to go out there and compete," Kirk said. "Arizona State already offered me and Coach Norvell has already been out to watch me in the spring practice, so they knew what I could do. But I still wanted to go out there and show them a little more.

"I really like the wide receivers coach (DelVaughn Alexander) and we did some good drills out there. With Coach Graham out there…there was a lot of intensity and I think the atmosphere was great and the camp was run very well."

As a freshman for Saguaro, Kirk collected 34 catches for 589 yards and six touchdowns. He was the leading receiver in the Sabercats' state championship game versus Cactus hauling in five receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown in a 31-23 win.

"Coaches have told me that I'm really mature for my age the way I'm playing," Kirk remarked, "and that I'm very fluid and run all my routes well. But last year was the first season I played wide receiver so I know I can run crisper routes and just improve on all my wide receiving skills."

Kirk added that during ASU's camp he recorded a mark of 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash and that was despite not being 100 percent healthy due to a sore knee.

Needless to say that in 2011 Kirk was overshadowed by teammate and the Sun Devils' incoming true freshman, D.J. Foster, who was voted the state's Player of the Year. Kirk noted that aside from the natural exposure he has for the hometown school, that he also learned a great deal about ASU through Foster who has shared his experiences with the Sun Devils.

"He told me that Coach Graham always talks about how the future for ASU is very bright," Kirk said. "He (Foster) said that the offense they run is the same one we run in high school and that it would be perfect for me. That does excite me because I want to go to a school where I can be successful.

"I'm really excited for ASU's future. I think what Coach Graham is bringing to the table will really turn around the program and make them one of the top schools in the nation. My mom and a bunch of my relatives went to that school, and I know some of the academic programs there are top in the nation. That is exciting to here because you never know how long you're going to play football for and it's important to have a Plan B."

The inevitable comparisons to Foster have been well documented and undoubtedly aren't about the cease anytime soon. Kirk claimed that he had no issues whatsoever being equated to his former teammate because he knows what that entails.

"I learned a lot from D.J. seeing how he handles everything," Kirk explained. "He's a great guy, I love talking to him and he's a role model for me. I always looked up to him trying to do what he did."

Not only is Kirk a gifted wide receiver, but the sophomore to-be has already proven that cornerback skills are equally as impressive. Those traits were on display during ASU's passing league earlier this month. Furthermore, in a passing league at Desert Mountain High School, the 5-9 169-pound Kirk reportedly was able to shut down 6-6 220-pound 2014 wide receiver Mark Andrews on Andrews' home field. Quite the feat by the Saguaro standout covering a wideout who isn't only one of the best in the state but also a prospect that has been attracting scholarship offers nationwide.

"Me and Mark are friends and we talk all the time," Kirk stated. "We go out there and run routes and catch balls from both of our quarterbacks. So when we are training together there is always some smack talk going around. (Desert Mountain quarterback) Kyle Allen was saying that I couldn't cover Mark, so when we got out there I got physical with him. With the size disadvantage I had no choice but play physical, and I don't think he was expecting that.

"He didn't catch one pass on me and that was the goal. I'm sure after that a lot of coaches were surprised about how well I played corner. I guess I was surprised myself too because my freshman year I never really worked on playing that position."

Kirk added that he looks forward to playing on both sides of the ball this season, and takes much pride playing on defense. However, he added that for now when it comes to his role at the next level "I'm really looking forward to playing on the offensive side of the ball," he said.

The wide receiver currently has offers from ASU and UCLA, and impressive feat for a player who has just one year of varsity football under his belt. Kirk did miss most of his high school's spring practice due to illness, something that has in all likelihood prevented him from beefing up his offer list.

"I was surprised when UCLA first offered me," Kirk admitted. "I never thought I would be blessed this early to get such an offer. Then ASU and Coach Norvell gave me an offer, and both schools have been recruiting me very hard. Coach Graham always talks about me coming to ASU and making a great future for myself.

"These offers drive me to perform better knowing that I have a chance to play college football."

With signing day a good few years ahead of him, Kirk is obviously in no hurry to decide on the school of his choice as he continues to explore all the options that still lie ahead of him.

"If anything the earliest I could to see myself committing is right before my senior year begins," Kirk said. "But I don't even know if I would do that. I want to play my whole high school career and maybe figure that out in the end.

"I'm looking for a school that obviously has good academics and maybe the most important thing is having a good relationship with the coaches and being somewhere I will feel the most comfortable. Going out of state would be fine because I know my parents will support me wherever I go."

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