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Christian Kirk says his day trip to Alabama "lived up to the hype," and that's not a slight in any way.
The Rivals100 wide receiver was beyond please with what he saw in Tuscaloosa. And when it came time to discuss what jumped about most about the trip, he began to speak about a specific experience - an experience he found to be shockingly unique.
See, when you are, as Kirk is, one of the nation's top high school football prospects surprise isn't something that often overcomes you on the recruiting trial. Then, there's a reason Alabama has been so successful with top-flight recruits. The Tide is practiced in wowing the un-wowable.
"That program is run like an NFL team," said Kirk, who attends Scottsdale (Ariz.) Suaguaro High School. "That's something I've never seen before. I sat in on a team meeting. It was cool because it was one of the first meetings since the new freshmen got in there.
"Coach [Nick] Saban started the meeting off with a video of them losing to Auburn and Oklahoma. That set the tone for the meeting and how hard they need to work this summer. Then it went into him talking about helping them after football. He was stressing that they need to stay in school and get degrees."
Kirk's unofficial visit to Alabama was one of the final legs of an SEC tour that also included stops at Tennessee and Georgia. He's scheduled to wrap up his unofficial visits on Saturday with a tour of Auburn.
A trimming of his list will follow shortly thereafter.
"This is kinda the last run for me," Kirk said. "I'm hoping to cut this down late next week. It will probably go down to between 8 and 10."
Kirk says that both Texas A&M and Ohio State have already moved through to his final group and won't have to sweat out next week's cut, but plenty of other schools will be tossed to the wayside with a friendly "no thanks."
Kirk plans to graduate high school a semester early in order to join the school of his choice in time for spring practice 2015.