Starring for Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central, Kirkland had a game high 17 tackles, with four tackles for loss, one interception and a fumble recovery. But his effort wasn’t enough, as the Bears (0-2) fell to Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius 28-21 in their home opener on Saturday.
“I felt like my performance was good,” Kirkland said. “Overall as a defense our objective was to get better last week. And I think we did that. Overall, we met all our goals. We were a couple plays away from playing that perfect game for us. They just capitalized from the opportunities that we gave them. Hopefully we learn from it to keep getting better towards the end of the season.”
At 6-foot-2, 226-pounds, Kirkland says he worked on his strength mostly this off-season and it showed in his game on Saturday.
“I feel like my strength could be one of the key assets of my game,” Kirkland said. “Being able to shed blockers. That’s one of the biggest things I needed to conquer. As well as my quickness and my speed. Just not to be blocked by lineman, because some are very athletic. It’s helped me a lot. I have been covering sideline to sideline, and it’s really helped me in coverage as well.”
Kirkland, who committed to Michigan in May, says he is “excited” to watch the Michigan-Notre Dame contest this weekend, however, he admits he is a little bittersweet.
“I’m very excited,” Kirkland said. “I’m kind of upset, I don’t get to the opportunity to play against Notre Dame in my college career. I’m very excited for them to go to South Bend this weekend and hopefully get a W.”
Kirkland says his next planned unofficial visit will be when Michigan plays host to Penn State on Oct. 11 for Under the Lights III.
With Michigan’s 2015 class filling up, Kirkland says he’s had a hand in landing a few of the most recent commitments. Although, he says he is still working on a five-star talent to join this year’s class.
“Well, actually the people I am working on committed,” Kirkland said. “Really the only person I am working on from out west is Keisean Lucier-South from [California]. But other than that, the guys the coaching staff really wanted me to go after were Darian Roseboro, Mike Weber and Brian Cole. All my guys committed , so I guess I am one of the best recruiters we have besides Alex Malzone.” Kirkland continued to talk about Lucier-South.
“We’ve really developed a relationship when we were at The Opening, we were really cool,” Kirkland said of Lucier-South. “We were right next door to each other our rooms. We were talking all week and he is really excited about the Wolverines. He has a lot on his plate right now. So hopefully his official visit [for Penn State] really helps him out and it makes a better decision for him.”
In the meantime, Kirkland says her is working towards some goals he set forth for his senior season.
“My personal goal is to 150 tackles this year,” Kirkland said. “I want to receive accolades inside the city far as making the All-County team, All-Conference team, All-State team. And my main goal is to win state [title] with my team. But other than that, be Indiana’s Mr. Football.”