Kirkland soaks in game atmosphere

Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central 2015 linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. utilized the holiday weekend and a rare Sunday college game to visit Louisville, one of five schools that have offered him a scholarship.
"Me and my family went down early [Sunday] morning and we had a great time watching them play," Kirkland said. "It was a crazy environment, the fans were great and even the coaches had a lot of energy."
Kirkland had last visited Louisville for a junior day in February. Some of the aspects of this visit were similar, but the game day atmosphere provided a decidedly unique element.
"The environment is always better with the fans there," Kirkland said. "Earlier in the day I had a talk with Coach [Vance] Bedford and Coach [Brian Jean-Mary]. We talked for about 30 minutes before they headed down to the locker room. We talked about my game on Friday and they asked me how I did."
Besides Louisville, Kirkland has also been offered by Illinois, Indiana, Akron and Toledo. Sunday was the first day college coaches could contact recruits through email and social media, and Kirkland was on the receiving end of interest from several schools.
"I have been contacted a lot today [through] Facebook and direct messages on Twitter," Kirkland said. "Ole Miss, one of their coaches contacted me and told me to give them a call later this week. I was pretty excited about that. That is one of the first SEC schools to contact me."
Kirkland has already played two games of his junior season, registering 16 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in a game last Friday against North Central.
With a visit to Louisville now in the books, Kirkland is looking forward to his next scheduled unofficial visit, a night game at Illinois on Oct. 19.