Kirkland Has National Powers Recruiting Him

South Doyle (Knoxville, TN) High School's Matt Kirkland, a member of the state of Tennessee's class of 2010, has several powerhouse colleges recruiting him.

"Really, most of the SEC schools have shown interest in me - Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and LSU," said Matt, ranked the top prospect in Tennessee by several scouting services. "LSU is probably one of my top schools right now. They are on me pretty good. And Miami has shown a lot of interest in me. They want me to come down (for an unofficial visit)."

Several of the schools have already received unofficial visits.

"I've unofficially visited Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Walters State when the (Knoxville) Yard went down there," said Matt, who plays his summer ball with the Knoxville Yard travel team.

One thing that stuck out about each place was how nice the coaches were.

"The coaches are all nice to you," said Matt. "I talked to Vanderbilt's volunteer assistant coach. He was a pretty nice guy. The Mississippi State coaches were probably the nicest coaches of all. I talked to the recruiting director and the head coach. (MSU head) Coach (John) Cohen talked to me the most. He brought me into the office and showed me a power point presentation. When I went on my visit to Tennessee I talked to Nate Headley, who used to coach the Yard, and is now a volunteer coach at Tennessee. He and I are pretty close. I haven't talked to the LSU coaches that much but they send me things in the mail just about every day."

Matt is a multi-talented player and his recruitment confirms that.

"Different places are recruiting me for different positions," said the 6-2, 215-pounder. "LSU is looking at me anywhere. Vanderbilt saw me catching at the national Perfect Game Showcase and likes me as a catcher. Mississippi State likes me as a third baseman. UT (Tennessee) said they would use me at (a) corner (position) and eliminate pitching because they said I'm too good of a hitter."

Truth be known, it really doesn't matter to Matt where he ends up playing because he likes hitting and pitching.

"I like pitching a lot but I also like hitting a lot, too, because I'm a power-hitter and I like to hit the long ball," said Matt. "I would like to pitch but I like closing better than starting. I like coming in and throwing just as hard as I can."

He talked about what he likes about each school that is recruiting him.

"I have always been an LSU baseball fan but I also like Mississippi State because I like the atmosphere there," said Matt. "I think their (left field) lounge where they have all those old trucks is pretty neat. I really like Vanderbilt, too. And of course, I like UT. I probably live about 5 minutes down the road from UT."

He explained what will factor into his college decision.

"I know my family wants me to stay home so they can watch me play but in a way it is kind of confusing," said Matt. "I want to stay home for my family but my dream has always been to play at LSU. But I also I want to get most of my scholarship paid for. And I want to go to a college where I know I can play as a freshman because I will be 21-years-old my sophomore year which means I will be draft-eligible."

Keep it on to find out the latest recruiting news on Matt Kirkland.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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