On Saturday Christian Kirk returns to live game action for the first time since bringing home a second consecutive state title back to Saguaro High School. His first appearance in a Texas A&M uniform will be in front of a national audience in Houston, Texas against many familiar faces at Arizona State.
“I am looking forward to it a lot,” Kirk told Sports360AZ.com. “I’ve already been watching a lot of film on them through the summer and it’s funny just seeing some of my friends that I played against in high school and some guys I went through the recruiting process with out there and knowing that we are going to battle on a huge stage. It’s going to be awesome.”
“I made great connections with the coaches over there at ASU and still keep in contact with Coach (Mike) Norvell from time to time,” he added. “It’s going to be fun playing on a bigger stage.”
Kirk graduated high school early to be able to leave for College Station and participate in spring practice with the Aggies. It was an adjustment as the coaching staff didn’t treat him like a freshman from the start.
“Most of the freshman that came in during the summer where in a developmental group and got eased into it,” he explained. “The first day I stepped foot on campus they threw me right into the fire. ..They said we expect you to be a leader even at a young age, we are expecting you to step up and treat this stuff like a veteran because we know that’s what you can do.”
Kirk admitted things moved quickly for him at first during spring and summer workouts. But there was a moment he recalls where everything began to click.
“I hadn’t taken my first college lick yet,” he joked. “During the first couple weeks of spring ball, I was kind of running around, didn’t really get hit much. The game was still fast and I was waiting for that one hit. It was like the first Saturday after I came back for summer workouts and I took a screen pass and a lineman swung me around and I hit the back of my head. I saw some stars a little bit and was woozy.”
“After that, I was like ‘you know, I can handle this. This isn’t so bad,'” Kirk mentioned. “Ever since, I realized I am just out here playing and everyone is just like me and it just got fun after that.”
While Kirk’s attention is squarely on the Sun Devils this weekend, playing in venues like at LSU, Alabama, Florida and now his own Kyle Field at A&M, he can’t help but notice the fan in him realizing a dream to play at these historic places.
“It hasn’t,” Kirk said when asked if all this has settled in for him. “This summer I was watching the SEC Network’s Top 25 games come on and they were counting down and I watched every single one. Watching I still just felt like a fan sitting on my coach watching and was like, ‘man, I wonder what it would be like to be one of those guys.’ I am sure once I catch a touchdown in Death Valley or Kyle Field or wherever we are playing, that’s when it will really settle in.”
For those who have seen Kirk play over the years, that first touchdown should come quick and there will be many more to come from there.