Vols Impress Texas Flash

Although the title of nation's fastest high school football prospect is more a matter of claim than achievement, James Kirkendoll of Round Rock, Texas, is a name that deserves mention among the most elite of the fleet.

he 5-foot-11, 180-pound prospect routinely runs a 4.4 flat and frequently breaks that threshold. He ran a 4.38 at the Scout.com Combine held in Waco. That puts him in a rarified strata for speedsters, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Because football is a change of direction sport the shuttle is probably a better gauge of disposable speed. And this is where Kirkendoll really shines with a time of 4.03. That's the type of majestic mobility that would allow him to excel as a receiver or become a first class cover corner.

Here's Jamie Newberg's evaluation of Kirkendoll as a prospect:

James Kirkendoll is a wide receiver prospect from Round Rock (Texas) High School. Kirkendoll, 5-11 and 178 pounds, is so explosive. In fact, he has to be one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the entire country among the Class of 2007. In fact, he reminds me of Percy Harvin from last year's group. Like Harvin he has blazing speed and exceptional quickness. He has great hips and the ability to start and stop and start once again. He also has a great burst and acceleration and will just blow right by you. Kirkendoll has balance and vision and the ability to score from anywhere, anytime, whether it's in the passing game or returning a kick. He will beat you deep or take the short pass the distance. When watching him in action you marvel at his God given ability and just say "wow".

Kirkdendoll, a four-star prospect, is rated No. 17 at wide receiver by Scout.com in the Class of 2007 and he's a rapid riser on UT's recruiting board.

"I talk to them the most," Kirkendoll told Scout.com's Allen Wallace. "I get a bunch of text messages from them and they are always checking to see how I'm doing and if I saw their game. They looked really sharp against Georgia. Their offense was really clicking and really stepped up in the second half. I definitely plan to take an official visit there. Tennessee, Michigan and Florida are the three schools I want to visit for sure."

As a junior, Kirkendoll caught 59 passes for 648 yards and eight touchdowns for the Class-5A Dragons. He also returned a couple of kickoffs for scores and took a two INTs the distance. This season he has compiled 250 yards rushing with five touchdowns and 240 yards receiving with another TD. On defense he has 19 tackles two picks for Round Rock, which has a 4-1 mark.

"I'm explosive," Kirkendoll said. "I have great quickness and vision. I'm more of a finesse receiver and like to move around. I have great footwork. I want to get stronger and bigger so I can take hits better and get those extra yards."

Kirkendoll is also plays a little round ball at Round Rock and is a legitimate Division I basketball prospect. He 25 points, five assists and three boards per game as a junior. He reports a 235-pound bench press and a squat of 380. He boasts a 36-inch vertical leap.

To academic accomplishment to athletic acclaim, James Kirkendoll has a 3.0 GPA and an 1130 on his SAT.

"I'm also being recruited by Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, but they (Buckeyes) haven't offered yet.

"This month, I've gotten calls from Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Missouri, Miami and several other schools."

UT has been making progress with their aggressive recruitment of Kirkendoll and would love to get him in for a game-day visit with the LSU game being most likely at this point. With Florida being another of his finalists the stakes are higher for the Vols, who have a slight lead over the Gators and Wolverines at this point.

The Vols might want to take their cue from Kirkendoll because when has a slight lead nobody catches him.

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