Denver Kirkland: 4-Star OL Would Form Nice One-Two Punch with Alex Collins
Arkansas' signing of 4-star offensive lineman Denver Kirkland on Wednesday represented an opportunity to pair up the strong run-blocker with 4-star running back Alex Collins.
Of course, Collins' mother went AWOL with his letter of intent and refuses to sign because she wants him to join the Miami Hurricanes, per the Miami Herald.
But if the Razorbacks can hold on to Collins, he complements the signing of Kirkland.
Kirkland, a 6'5", 333-pound behemoth out of Miami, specializes in run-blocking. He's not necessarily a mauling blocker, but he uses good position to wall off defenders with his size. Combined with his agility, quickness and balance, he has the potential be a high-impact guard or offensive tackle at the next level.
It's important that the Razorbacks come away with Collins to pair with Kirkland, especially considering both Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson will not be with the program next season (the team's top two rushers in 2012). They still have former 4-star recruit Jonathan Williams (5.1 yards per carry in 2012), but Collins offers more potential in the backfield.
On a day Arkansas should be celebrating, the debacle surrounding Collins has forced a lot of folks to feel uneasy in Fayetteville. Kirkland's signing figured to be a complement to Collins' decision to join the Razorbacks, but it's anyone's guess now as to what will happen.
Kirkland isn't a perfect prospect. He does need some work on technique. But he could make an immediate impact for an Arkansas offensive line that was up and down in 2012.
New head coach Bret Bielema did well nabbing the offensive lineman away from his hometown of Miami. It appears he's going to have a more difficult time getting Collins to join him.
Such is the way of national signing day, when anything (and, I mean, anything) can happen to throw a wrench in your plans.
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