Denver Kirkland: Why Miami Missed out on 4-Star Offensive Lineman
All signs pointed to offensive lineman Denver Kirkland sporting a Miami Hurricanes jersey for the next four years, but Kirkland declared his allegiance to the Arkansas Razorbacks on national signing day.
A Florida native, Kirkland wanted to remain in state and play for either the Hurricanes or Florida State.
According to the Miami Herald, he was projected to sign with Miami until the 'Canes pulled their offer off the table after Kirkland told the university that he wanted to wait until national signing day to make his decision.
Did Miami drop the ball on Kirkland?
You can point the finger both ways on this one.
On one hand, it's not fair to yank an offer away from a young athlete for wanting to wait until signing day. On the other, Miami needed to know if Kirkland was going to commit. If he wasn't, the Hurricanes needed to shift their focus to another player to fill the position.
Either way, Miami lost out on the talent that is Denver Kirkland.
At 6'4", 333 pounds, the 4-star OL has the necessary build to be a solid offensive tackle in college football (h/t ESPN). Given his frame and weight, he obviously has the size to be an effective member of an offensive line, especially in pass protection.
He has decent speed for a big man (5.63 40-yard dash, according to ESPN) and possesses the athleticism to be a down-field blocker.
Miami doesn't have a recruit on the offensive line ranked higher than three stars, and it will surely miss not securing Kirkland.
Of course, we'll need to see how he impacts the Razorbacks in 2014 and beyond, but all signs point toward Kirkland being a solid offensive lineman at Arkansas.
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