Profile: Jaxson Kirkland
Position: Offensive Tackle
Location: Portland (Ore.) Jesuit
The Scouting Report: Kirkland is a big bodied tackle who has trimmed down from the fall, where he still was a big impact player for Jesuit, helping them win the 6A state title. He plays left tackle for Jesuit, but projects to right tackle in college. He doesn't have that top-tier athleticism you want in a tackle, but has the size and strength to be effective on the right side. He plays with tremendous physicality and shows good strength and hand placement, but will need to work on playing lower, at times, getting caught playing too upright. But when he digs in and gets low, he's tough for defensive ends to get around. His strength is as a run blocker but he is still effective in pass protection. Strength won't be an issue for Kirkland, he just needs to continue to work on his footwork and in his short area quickness.
Overall Analysis: UCLA needs tackles in this class and they just picked up their second one with Kirkland's commitment, but more importantly, their first from the prep ranks. Kirkland joins Ronald Rudd, a JC tackle, as the second tackle and becomes the third offensive lineman, with Kanan Ray. Adrian Klemm still has a handful of tackles he's recruiting to add to the mix, but getting Kirkland, and beating a number of Pac-12 programs for him, certainly helps. UCLA offered Kirkland in mid-spring after Klemm got a chance to see him in person and then Kirkland visited in June with his family, which he told Scout went a long way in making the Bruins the favorite. Locking him up before the start of the fall also helps. Kirkland has really transformed his body since the end of his junior season and should compete for the right tackle job after a likely redshirt season.