Early fireworks for Kirkland

The 4th of July celebrations came a day early at the Kirkland home Tuesday morning as Andrew Kirkland, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman from Jesuit High School in Portland, verbally committed to the University of Washington just days after being offered by the Huskies.

"I just wanted to let you know that I just committed to the University of Washington," Kirkland told Scout.com. "They were really happy and they were excited. They want to get me up there and get me working."

Kirkland said he picked the Huskies over standing scholarship offers from Colorado, Wyoming, Northern Colorado, Eastern Washington and Portland State. So how did Kirkland receive the offer? "I got there on Saturday and all the coaches were talking to me. Coach Wilcox actually sent me a message on Facebook that Coach Sark wants to meet me. So I showed up before the camp and my mom and I were standing out there and Coach Sark came out and said, 'We'd like to extend a scholarship offer to you'."

And his initial reaction? "I was elated and really excited," Kirkland said. "I couldn't believe that such a great program would offer me."

He talked about the things the UW coaches saw that apparently led to the offer. "They were talking to me about how I looked on film before the camp," said Kirkland. "I went out there and did the best I could at the camp and I guess they thought that I looked even better - so they offered. They liked my toughness and tenacity and how I compete on every play, every breath. They like my athleticism and I think they'll put me at guard."

Kirkland added that his natural position is right tackle, the spot he currently plays for Jesuit, but he can play anywhere along the OL. Jesuit's line - with Doug Brenner, Max Rich and Ryan Brown included - is arguably one of the best in the country when it comes to college prospects. "We have a pretty good line coming back, and I think most of the line are going to go Pac-12," he said.

But after the camp - which was held in the Dempsey Indoor Facility at Washington - Kirkland didn't appear close to a final decision. But he went home, did some research on UW, and he also admitted to getting a positive feeling by something completely random.

"I was chatting with my dad, and the first thing I saw was two Huskies walking down the street with their owners - so I took it as a sign," he said. "It just felt right to commit there. There's a great family feeling and I like it up there a lot."

After some more talking with his parents, Kirkland said he came to his final decision late Sunday night. "We were just talking, and decided it was the right choice," he said. "My and my dad were talking about it before, and we were hoping that if everything fell the way it was supposed to I would have a decision made before my senior season."

So he called the Washington coaches Tuesday morning and the rest is history. It's Washington's 16th public commitment and comes on the heels of seven verbal commits the Huskies received at one time this past Friday.

Will Kirkland take any other official visits besides the one to UW? "My commitment is a commitment," he said. "I won't take any other official visits. I'm just going to Washington. It's a commitment."

Kirkland had one more thing to say: "Go Dawgs!"

Andrew Kirkland 2011 Junior Highlights:


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