Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is no stranger to trotting out breakout stars during his time with the Aggies.
Just last season, stud defensive end Myles Garrett burst onto the scene and broke the SEC's freshman sack record with 11.5. That record was previously held by some guy named Jadeveon Clowney. Perhaps you've heard of him.
Two seasons before that, all redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel did was win the starting job at quarterback—somewhat surprisingly—midway through fall camp and then set the college football world on fire en route to becoming the first redshirt freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Who's next in line to be a breakout star in College Station.
Wide receiver Christian Kirk is a good candidate.
The 5'11", 190-pound freshman from Scottsdale, Arizona, signed with the Aggies in February and participated in spring practice. It was this spring that Kirk caught the eye of just about anybody hanging around the practice field, including 247Sports' Jeff Tarpley, who wrote about the receiver and his relationship with sophomore quarterback Kyle Allen in April.
Kirk has been a revelation ever since he arrived on campus. He carries himself like an upperclassman and physically he looks like one too. He's impressed everyone around the program with his work ethic and attention to detail. He's learned how to use his athleticism to get separation (he's got astoundingly quick feet) and work over linebackers and safeties on the inside. In fact, Kirk has already become something of a security blanket for Allen.
If that's not a ringing endorsement, I'm not sure what is.
If Kirk has already developed that kind of chemistry with Allen—in 15 short practices—that will go a long way.
It wasn't just this spring when Kirk was turning heads. Bleacher Report national video analyst Michael Felder was wildly impressed with Kirk when he saw him at The Opening last July.
"[He was] the best player at The Opening a year ago," Felder said. "Kid was dynamic, great route-runner, tremendous hands. Not the tallest wide receiver, but built solidly enough to get off press and succeed against physical competition."
His talent is obvious, as evidenced by this video of him scoring high school touchdowns from six different positions.
So how does he fit in?
Part of the reason Kirk was impressive this spring was because the opportunity was there. Texas A&M is loaded with stud wide receivers like Josh Reynolds, Ricky Seals-Jones, Edward Pope and Speedy Noil. Once every member of the Aggie receiving corps is back, Allen will have six of the team's top seven receivers at his disposal.
But Reynolds skipped the spring while he recovered from a knee injury, and Noil was suspended for the final couple of weeks of spring practice.
Can he crack the rotation this spring?
It wouldn't be the most shocking development in the world.
While Kirk is similar in stature to the 5'11", 185-pound sophomore Noil, they're much different players. Noil is more of the typical slot receiver while Kirk can play much bigger than his 5'11" frame yet still possesses the skills of a slot receiver.
Because of that, he'll have a chance to earn playing time alongside the Aggies veterans.
In fact, he might jump over them.
"He's better than just about all of those other guys at playing wide receiver," Felder said. "[The] kid knows the craft so well."
Don't be fooled by the logjam at wide receiver in front of Kirk. The door opened for him this spring, and he did his best to not only work his way through it, but kick the whole thing down.
Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.
Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.