Louisville commitment planning visits

Jacquese Kirk, three-star cornerback from Jasper-Walker, Ala., has excelled on both sides of the ball this year for one of the top schools in Class 5A. Kirk talked about the season and updated his recruitment including a couple of official visits.

"The season is going great," said Jacquese Kirk. "We are 8-1 and ranked No. 3 in Class 5A. We will play at home in the first round against Sylacauga. We lost to Hartselle for our only loss and ended up No. 2 in our region.

"We play on Thursday against Dora this week. I have had a good year so far. I have two interceptions and 40 tackles. I have about 300 receiving yards and five touchdowns. I also have one kickoff return for a touchdown (95 yards)."

The Louisville commitment has not attended any college games this season, but he has a few trips in mind.

"I haven't been anywhere yet this year," he said. "I know I am going to get up to Louisville at some point. I know I am going to visit Vanderbilt. I will probably take official visits to Stanford and Arkansas. Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Stanford and Georgia are all showing interest in me.

"I have been keeping in close contact with Louisville. I talked to them on Sunday. From what I have seen they are doing a good job with the new coaching staff. I feel with the recruits they are trying to bring in they can get back on top."

Kirk talked more about his interest in Stanford, Arkansas and Vanderbilt.

Stanford: "It's a big degree. It's something big to get a degree from them. I want to make sure in my mind I have made the right choice. I will put them up against Louisville to see which one is the best fit for me."

Arkansas: "I want to say they were my second offer. Ever since then they have been talking to me. They have been trying to get me up there for a visit for a long time. I plan on doing that."

Vanderbilt: "I have been there a few times. I like it in Nashville. Coach Caldwell was my recruiting coach until he became the head coach, but we still talk over email and stuff. I haven't got to see a game. I saw them play basketball against Kentucky last year. I like the atmosphere. I was around a few players, and they seem nice. Coaching staff is really nice as well."

"I'm still committed, but I've got to get to a few other places that have been recruiting me hard," Kirk said about Louisville. "They're interested in me so I've got to see if they have anything to offer that would pull me from Louisville.

"They [Louisville] have the upper hand on everyone with the coaching staff. I felt like with them it would be like a family. And isn't that what a team is supposed to be, a family?"

Kirk says Coach Mike Groh has been the leader in the Cardinal's pursuit of the three-star defender.

"I talk to Coach Groh most of the time," he said. "I talk to Coach Bedford and Coach Strong a lot too. Every time they call it's one of those three."

With a 9-3 record last season, Kirk and Walker High School boast only one loss this season compared to eight wins; the loss coming to the number one team in 5A, Hartselle. The Vikings set their goals high coming into the season.

"We wanted to go undefeated and win state," said Kirk. "We can still win state though."

Kirk set some additional goals for himself at the beginning of the year.

"I wanted to improve on my play all-around," he said. "I wanted to be an impact player for my team, step up when the team needs me and make All-State."

With the season winding down, Kirk says he has done as much as he can to realize these goals.

"I've been playing good on defense, and this is the best offensive year that I've had," he said. "People don't really throw my way as much when I'm on defense, but I'm still playing well."

Kirk has improved in many areas of his game, but acknowledges there is still room to grow.

"I've improved my main technique, running the ball and my hands," he said. "There is always room for improvement, though. I really want my tackling and physicality to improve."

Kirk, who was selected to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, says it was hard for him to hide his excitement when he was selected.

"It was big," said the All-Star. "When my coach was telling me about it, all I wanted to do was smile. I had to hold it back for a bit, though. A lineman on our team was selected too."

Kirk says it should be a battle between the two states.

"It's going to be great to go against Mississippi," he said. "They have a lot of good guys, but so do we. It should be a good game."

Hank Wall contributed to this report.

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