Christian Kirk is going to be an Aggie.
In a much-hyped announcement Wednesday morning, five-star wide receiver prospect Christian Kirk committed to Texas A&M;, choosing the Aggies over ASU and UCLA.
Kirk, the top prospect in the state of Arizona, held more than 30 scholarship offers during his tenure at Saguaro High School, where he was a part of three state championship teams. The Sabercats have won back-to-back Arizona Division III state titles.
The 5-foot-11 wide receiver said he was undecided on his college choice as recently as Monday, when he and coach Jason Mohns sat down and discussed the decision. Ultimately it came down to a gut decision from Kirk.
"ASU and UCLA were two schools it really came down to, but ultimately Texas A&M; was in my gut and I had to go with it," he said.
There was no wrong decision, Kirk said.
"No matter what, the decision I would make would be a good decision, but I couldn't go wrong with (Texas A&M;)," he said.
For Kirk, the chance to play in the SEC conference was a big pulling factor.
"I told all the people in the beginning: any SEC school is going to have a pull on me," he said. "I've always wanted to play in the SEC. Just the atmosphere, competition, and everything about it."
The option of staying home was something Kirk did not take lightly, however.
"Obviously, it would have been nice to stay home (at ASU)," he said. "I'm an independent kid. I don't rely on my parents, I don't rely on anybody else to give me anything. I love to work for whatever I want to get. Going to Texas A&M; will be a great challenge for me to go and show everyone that I don't need to be in the state of Arizona and I can compete against the best."
Coach Kevin Sumlin has big plans for Kirk.
"I was on the phone with coach (Kevin) Sumlin, and he said once we hire our wide receivers coach and (defensive coordinator), we're going to change college football and win national championships," Kirk said.
Texas A&M;'s coaching staff was informed of the decision as early as Tuesday night, Kirk said.
The current starting quarterback for the Aggies is freshman Kyle Allen, who was the top prospect in Arizona in 2013 and is a former youth football teammate of Kirk.
"I told (Kyle Allen) yesterday," Kirk said. "He was pumped. He's just so excited to see what we can do in the SEC next year."
"They've got a great relationship," Mohns said. "They played youth football together, and they've maintained a good relationship all throughout high school."
Kirk joins Allen and defensive end Qualen Cunningham as local products who have left for Texas A&M.; ASU has swung and missed on several local products in the past, including UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and Oregon left tackle Tyler Johnstone.
One of the last big-name local products to "Stay True" at ASU was actually junior running back D.J. Foster, a Saguaro alum whose records Kirk broke.
Arizona will always have a special place in Kirk's mind.
"To go out and see what these other kids can do and represent Arizona, it's going to be awesome," he said. "I hope all those ASU fans know that I'm still going to rep the home state of Arizona to the fullest. I'm never going to forget that."
As his coach and mentor dating back to youth football, Mohns served as a guide during Kirk's recruiting process.
"I'm not going to push my advice," Mohns said. "I'm not going to push my agenda at all. I'm just going to be here, and if you have questions, if you want to pick my brain, do that."
Ultimately, it just came down to comfort level not just with the coaching staff, but with several others coming to the Aggies in 2015.
"Christian's got a great relationship with those guys on their 2015 recruiting class being a part of some of the national camps like The Opening and the Rivals 150 camp," Mohns said.
Despite not getting Kirk, ASU's recruiting class features some strong in-state talent. Three-star dual threat quarterback Bryce Perkins (brother of UCLA running back Paul Perkins) has already committed from the 2015 class along with offensive linemen Cade Cote and Steven Miller.
Kirk's first game as an Aggie will come against ASU on Sept. 5 in Houston.
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