One of the top defensive tackle prospects in the state of Florida for the class of 2010 is 3-star recruit Kenneth Kirksey of Daytona Beach Mainland High School. SpartanMag.com caught up with the 6-foot-1, 290-pound prospect earlier today and has the latest on his recruitment.
Kirksey has been a tough prospect for recruiting analysts to track down, but college coaches are very familiar with the massive Mainland High School prospect. Kirksey has over double-digit scholarship offers, but is currently focused on four main schools: Michigan State, Florida State, Rutgers and Iowa State.
Kirksey has been taking care of some academics recently. He took the ACT earlier this month and that is why he has not taken any official visits yet. Due to NCAA regulations, recruits cannot take official visits until they have at least taken the ACT/SAT. SpartanMag.com asked Kirksey what schools he will be checking out officially in January.
"I will be visiting Iowa State, Michigan State and Rutgers," he said. "I am not sure of the weekends, I think Iowa State is the 22nd, but those are three I have spoken with about visiting."
Early on in his recruitment it looked like Kirksey was all but a done deal for the Florida State Seminoles. However, the Seminoles already have four defensive tackle commitments for the class, and with a new head coach in place, other positions are now taking precedent.
Kirksey had a strong senior year while helping Mainland High School into the playoffs. He ended the season with 107 tackles and 8 sacks. Those numbers followed a junior season in which he totaled 80 tackles and 8 sacks. The Orlando Sentinel ranks Kirksey the 11th best player in Central Florida and the 81st prospect in Florida overall for the class of 2010.
Spartan Defensive Coordiantor Pat Narduzzi was at Mainland High School recently and informed Kirksey about Michigan State's need at the defensive tackle position. The idea of going out of state to play in the Big Ten is an appealing one to him.
"First, I am looking for a school that will provide me with a good education," he said. "I also want to make sure I like the coaches and I want it to be a good football program too."
Like many Florida recruits, Kirksey indicated he will likely not make his choice until close to signing day. SpartanMag.com will have more on Kirksey's recruitment in the coming weeks.
Matt Dorsey's Take:
What score Kirksey receives on his ACT test will determine just how hard the Spartans push for a commitment. The Spartans are looking for defensive tackles that can contribute right away. Because of that, whoever they sign needs to be fully qualified when they send their fax in on February 3rd.
Kirksey is a big-time talent. His academic status kept his recruiting stock down. If the Spartans have him on campus the 15th you can bet they are serious. If he is scheduled for the 22nd or 29th it could be a situation where the spot could be gone.