Kirk talks ASU visit

Even in the midst of intense recruiting efforts for the 2014 class, not to mention preparing for fall camp, pursuing a younger prospect of the caliber of Christian Kirk is just as high of a priority for the Sun Devil staff. Earlier today, the state's top 2015 prospect spent a few hours in Tempe and talked to Devils Digest about his experience during that visit.

"It was a good visit. I went down there with Tyler Whiley and Keenan Walker who are both from Chaparral," said the Scottsdale Saguaro standout. "It wasn't really a recruiting trip but more just hanging out with the (Arizona State) coaches and building a relationship and seeing how they would use me in their offense if I went there."

Ever since his freshman year the 5-9 169-pound Christian Kirk has been a varsity starter and all-conference player for the Sabercats. In his sophomore campaign he collected 43 catches 1,003 yards and 12 touchdowns, and scored three more times on the ground. On defense he collected 23 tackles and four interceptions.

Versatility is certainly Kirk's calling card and in that vein the ASU coaches do envision his potential role with the Sun Devils to coincide with that skill set.

"I told them specifically that I wanted to play wide receiver," Kirk said. "So everytime I went down there I met Coach Alexander. But this time I met with the running backs coach Bo Graham. He talked to me about the four-back position where D.J. Foster plays at now. It's a position where they find ways to get me in the backfield so I can get the ball more in my hands.

"They said if I don't have the ball in my hands 20 times a game, something is wrong, because all I need is space to make big plays."

Due to the fact that Kirk feels he's much better suited for a wide receiver role, he was initially lukewarm about the discussion and the game film session he had today. However, as the visit progressed he became much more receptive to the concepts that were presented to him.

"Every player's goal is obviously get to the next level," Kirk explained, "and I know that there are guys that are successful in college football now that are utility guys playing both at running back and wide receiver and you don't know if they ready for the NFL because they don't have a specific position. I didn't want to be labeled like that.

"But talking to the coaches today, they told me how the league is really moving to what college football is with spread offenses and zone read. So they are looking for those slot guys that are fast and can make plays, guys you just want to get the ball in their hands. So when I heard that it appeals to me more."

While today's visit didn't feel different than other occasion Kirk has been on campus, it's only because of the usual comfort level and welcoming attitude he experienced while in Tempe. That sentiment was naturally enhanced that much more as he was accompanied by the ASU's newest 2014 commit and fellow high caliber local recruit – Tyler Whiley.

"Me and Ty are really good friends and we became really close over the past year," Kirk admitted. "We're always talking 24/7. So now that he's committed I know he will be in my ear recruiting me. We always talked about playing together, and we did have a lot of fun playing together in our 7 on 7 team. So there is always that thought there.

"I know (2014 QB commit) Manny Wilkins and he's a cool kid too. I got to talk to him a lot during The Opening and we started to build a relationship. He always tells me ‘if you're from Arizona there's no reason why you shouldn't go to ASU.' So that's another guy that is there that wants me to go to Arizona State."

Following Whiley's pledge, the prevailing theory has been that his decision could prompt fellow local prospects to follow suit and join the ranks of the maroon and gold. Does Kirk subscribe to that premise?

"Oh definitely," Kirk replied. "I know Tyler will do big things at ASU and when he gets there and plays early I will see how it is for him to play in front of all his family and friends. You think about how great of a feeling it is to run out onto the field in front of your hometown watching you play college football. That definitely goes into the thought process."

With over a dozen BCS school offers, needless to say that the well sought after Saguaro star has excellent choices in front of him. Therefore, he doesn't see himself committing before his senior year, as he wishes to continue and evaluate his suitors this year and next.

"I know some kids get tired of recruiting," Kirk stated. "But I know it's a one time opportunity that not every kid gets. So I do want to ride this out, take my official visits and get to see the country so I can make sure 100 percent what school I want to go to."

For now, following today's visit, it's hard for Kirk to ignore the vibe he felt on ASU's campus. There were no surprises for him, yet he did feel something different.

"I see how well the team has come along and how all the guys I know have come along," Kirk commented "You see how good they can be this year and they think they can have a lot of success. I also think they will have a lot of success and I'm excited to see what they will do.

"I didn't feel different about ASU after the visit because they will always be highly regarded to me. It's the hometown, I have a strong relationship with the coaches and some of the players and that's big for me because that makes you feel comfortable.

"They are definitely a high interest place for me."

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