Prominence. What is it and how does one gain it? Well we wanted to address that question as we caught up to Jesuit High School's rising stud linemen Andrew Kirkland. To get to the root of the matter we looked it up on the web and our friends at Google offered this.
Now definition 1 is not in play here as a kid like Kirkland really cares not for fame or to hold a position of importance; even if the Offensive Line is the most important position in Football.
But #2, especially the part about "physically projecting", is right on the money. Kirkland at 6'5" and 285 pounds is physical and he is projecting. Both of those things he has down. And recently his efforts came into view of the Colorado Buffaloes who decided they has seen quite enough and made him an offer.
"They made me an offer and you know it could not have felt better," said Andrew who is intelligent, thoughtful, and collected every time we speak. "That Pac 12 South is a terrific group of teams and to have a shot to play there is a great opportunity. I am truly thankful."
He can be a guard or a tackle there at Colorado and says he is happy at either spot. But it is clear that his physical size, strength, and overall power is going to have him along that O'line at the next level.
Other schools that seem to be close to offering are OSU and Boise State. Oregon is showing some real interest too. He plans to make camp at OSU and Boise State and has a pretty full schedule overall.
"It is going to be a busy Summer for sure," he added.
Back at home he is settled into the training regimen with the Crusaders who are so loaded, especially at the line spot, that it appears to be a year they can do some great things.
"We have a lot of kids back at all positions. The line is looking great with Max Rich, Maka Moon, Dom Baldocci, myself, Doug Brenner at TE, and guys like Ryan Brown, Ken Timmons, and David Brugado, there too. We have a great bunch of atheletes," he added.
No doubt. That is an amazing group for size and talent. Andrew marveled at some of his team mates and how much talent they have. We spoke about Max Rich at left tackle who has offers from Wyoming and North Dakota State. A guy Andrew feels is one of the best he has seen.
One other guy we singled out in our discussions was Doug Brenner who we have covered recently. So we took a moment to ask Kirkland about the 6'3", 275 pound Brenner.
"He is amazing. He plays so many positions that it probably is hard for schools to decide what to do with him. Last season he played linebacker, tackle, full back, and other positions. This year he will be next to me at Tight End which will be amazing. But there is no doubt that Doug is a big time talent at Defensive Tackle," offered Kirkland.
How good is Doug?
According to Kirkland he is the best he has ever faced. And that is very high praise from a kid who battled All American Alex Balducci and many other top Defensive linemen last year as a Junior. So we look for Brenner to have many options as the Summer begins to wrap up!
The Crusaders have been known to put out top talent every year for a couple of decades now and they have enjoyed National Rankings. It is guys like Rich, Brenner, and Kirkland that fit the bill this year along with RB AJ Glass and a host of others that we will cover in a later article.
One thing for sure is that Andrew Kirkland is playing at a level that is as good as Evan Voeller and Brayden Kearsley who are both Army All American Nominees and rated as Oregon's finest. Something he is comfortable discussing in closing.
We asked him if he was as good of an athlete and linemen in his opinion as those two top kids?
"Those are two of the best linemen on the West Coast," he said in quick response. "But I am right there. Yes I am."
Enough said. Andrew Kirkland is ready for whatever the future holds and is still rising.