Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Kirkland surprised and shocked by Arkansas
Offensive lineman Denver Kirkland signed with Arkansas over Florida State and Miami. He said Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon was key in his recruitment.
Arkansas received the last official visit of offensive lineman Denver Kirkland, 6-5, 320, of Miami Washington and it sounds like the Hogs made a good impression. After his visit, he said he was surprised and shocked by what he saw in Fayetteville.
“They have a good weight room to work out in and the indoor facility,” Kirkland added. “Any time it rains, you can go in and practice. You don’t stop practicing.”
Prior to Arkansas, Kirkland officially visited Ole Miss, Florida State, South Florida and Miami. He plans to announce his decision on ESPNU on national signing day Feb. 6.
Offensive line coach Sam Pittman keeps Kirkland entertained and is someone he could see himself play for on the next level.
"He is a cool coach, a fun dude and funny,” said Kirkland, who's rated a four-star prospect by Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. “You will just love to be around him. You’ll love him as a coach.”
His relationship with linebacker coach Randy Shannon helped the Hogs get a visit.
"it is always going to be a great feeling between us," said Kirkland, who's coach Tim Harris Sr. was administrative assistant to Shannon while coaching at Miami. “We have just taken our relationship to another level.”
Arkansas gained three commitments during the weekend, including defensive tackle Ke’Tyrus Marks, who's recruiting Kirkland and others to be Razorbacks. The two know one another after competing each other camps and a couple of all-star games.
“I know Kirkland because I played in two all-star games that he was in,” Marks said. “I know him from Miami camps and stuff like that. He is a big dude. You got to get off before he does because if he gets his hands on you it is all over.”