Out of Miami Booker T. Washington, Denver Kirkland is emerging as one of the better offensive line recruits in Florida for the 2013 cycle. The big (6'5, 333 pounds) tackle followed up a strong performance at The Opening with another during Thursday's portion of the Jimbo Fisher Camp. After, I chatted with Kirkland about his recruitment.
"It's been great. Really great," Kirkland said of his experience at the camp. "We come out here, buckle down and everybody is about business. Business of getting better."
One major benefit of the camp setting for top recruits is the chance to interact with the coaches.
"I spoke with coach Fisher and [FSU offensive line] coach Trickett. We spoke about how the program is about, what they want in a player, depth chart, and everything, really. Just everything," Kirkland said.
Kirkland had plenty to say about Trickett, who had a reputation for being tough on his linemen.
"It's been good. He's been getting on me, but he gets on a lot of people. He's about business. He sticks his head in there and tries to get you ready and mentally ready. That fussin' and cussin', you want to get better and he wants you to get better," Kirkland said.
"It's different. He is going to make you laugh, and he'll make you mad. At the end of the day you'll be happy because you're getting better and you're a unit," he added about Trickett''s coaching style.
This trip to Tallahassee was Kirkland's second, as he previously visited after his freshman season.
Kirkland bonded at The Opening with FSU offensive line recruit Ira Denson.
"We just met each other, but as time goes on, if we do go to the same school, we'll be dominant," Kirkland said. "And we'll have a brotherly bond. We can be dominant. He's recruiting me really hard."
Kirkland stressed that he does not have an official list of top schools, but he offered up some thoughts on a few that are standing out.
"Florida State, USC, UCLA, South Florida, Florida and Miami, in no order," Kirkland said, noting that the bond with the coaches is key in his recruitment.
Despite his visits to other programs, many recruiting experts believe Kirkland is a lock to stay home and play for the Hurricanes.
"They're not right. Not yet," Kirkland said. "I like Miami. A lot. But I'm going to make my own decision. Nobody will make my decision for me." He added that distance won't be a factor in his recruitment.