UCLA's new offensive line coach Hank Fraley took his first hit Thursday night.
The three-star offensive tackle from Portland (Ore.) Jesuit had been committed to the Bruins since mid August, but the firing of Adrian Klemm opened the door for other programs to enter the picture. Kirkland took trips to Pullman and Eugene in recent days, and also got a big offer from childhood favorite Washington.
The development leaves UCLA with more trouble in offensive line recruiting. Kirkland had been scheduled to take his official visit this weekend along with the program's other line commits -- Kanan Ray, Jax Wacaser -- and three-star guard target Sean Seawards, a Boise State commit. The Bruins picked up a commitment from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas guard prospect Zack Sweeney last weekend, but another tackle could be pivotal, especially with Wacaser considered to be at least a year away from contending for playing time.
Another top target at offensive tackle, four-star Stephan Zabié of Austin (Texas) Westlake, visited campus last weekend and was said to have the Bruins high on his list, but he's scheduled to officially visit longtime frontrunner Texas this weekend.
Kirkland visited UCLA last summer during the program's elite camp.
"First off I would like to thank the staff at UCLA, I have the utmost respect for everyone a part of it," Kirkland wrote on his Twitter account. "With that being said, after taking with my family and saying prayers I have decided to part ways with UCLA. This was the toughest decision of my life and for my future and a special thanks to Coach Mora and Coach Klemm for taking interest in me early on and being tremendously classy people."