FSU football recruiting has picked up steam over the past week or so, with three commitments this month. The Noles picked up their fourth commitment in August with the addition of three-star composite defensive back Kenton Kirkland Monday afternoon.
Kirkland is the 14th commitment for the Noles in the 2023 recruiting class. Kirkland chose the Noles over the Kentucky Wildcats in a hard-fought recruiting battle.
FSU lost a recruiting battle to Kentucky for four-star safety Avery Stuart a couple of months back. Kirkland leaned FSU but began to favor Kentucky after a visit to FSU in late July.
The commitment of defensive back Jabril Rawls may have had something to do with that too. However, momentum favoring the Noles began to pick up steam again last week before he made the commitment official:
— Kenton “KJ” Kirkland ll (@kenton_kirkland) August 16, 2022
Kirkland ranks as the No. 490 players and no. 44 safety nationally. He ranks as the No. 91 players in Florida with 21 offers from the likes of FSU, Miami, Kentucky, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Tennessee, UCF, LSU, Florida, and others.
He lists at 6’1″ and 187 pounds and will likely play safety for the Noles but could play cornerback in a pinch. The addition to the class moves the Noles to No. 20 nationally, which is a far cry from the upper 40’s a couple of months ago.
Kirkland has good top-end speed and outstanding arm length (77″ inch wingspan). Kirkland is the third defensive back in the class, and arguably one of the better realistic options with what’s left target-wise.
The Noles will likely need to take one more cornerback, and the top option would be four-star Damari Brown. However, he hasn’t been to campus since early spring.
I thought FSU might concede Kirkland to Kentucky, but he’s obviously a priority since they got the commitment after Kentucky gained momentum with him. Welcome to Kenton Kirkland’s Nolenation!