Kent State went back to Hampton Roads for some help at defensive back by adding Chesapeake (Va.) Deep Creek cornerback Sam Kirkland today. The 6-foot-0, 180-pounder selected the Golden Flashes over an offer from James Madison.
"I told coach Pratt earlier today at school and then I committed to coach Martin tonight," he said. "They were both very excited and told me I was their top player in this class. I am very excited about it too. These guys really wanted me."
What made Kirkland select Kent in the end?
"I guess I chose them for a bunch of reasons," he said. "They really wanted me there, they are Division I-A and have a good schedule next year. They are also a team on the up and going to do big things in the future. I believe I fit their system very well at cornerback or free safety and then there's the chance I can play early.
"The only thing that was bad was that it was a ways from home, but school is supposed to make you independent."
Obviously Kirkland's visit this past weekend played a major factor in his decision.
"The players there were a big part of my decision," he said. "Talking to them, everything they said about the coach was positive. It really felt like the right situation for me and I do like that there are a bunch of players from my area too. Actually all the players from the area are on the field for Kent, so coach Pratt has a really good track record of players from here."
As for playing time, the Commonwealth defensive back will get a shot immediately.
"The coaches told me that I can come in and play early since they lost a cornerback and free safety to graduation this year," he stated. "At first, I really wanted to redshirt, but after talking with the coaches I'm looking forward to getting my feet wet. I'm really focused on getting bigger, faster, stronger and more knowledgeable about the game before I head up there. I'm ready to go to work."