Michigan Football Recruiting: Darrin Kirkland Jr. -- 2015 Commit -- Profile

Posted at 8:00am — 5/19/2014

Michigan Football Recruiting: Darrin Kirkland Jr. — 2015 Commit — Profile

GBMWolverine Readers: Here is an overview of recent verbal commitment Darrin Kirkland Jr..

Michigan received a commitment from Darrin Kirkland on a weekend visit. His interest in Michigan was reported to be significantly growing during the last two months. Lawrence Central High School is a large population high school with a sound academic reputation. The football team plays a brutal schedule.

Darrin Kirkland Jr. 3Darrin Kirkland’s offer sheet and interest level from major programs keeps accelerating. He is a presence on the defensive side of the ball. Darrin has good speed, lateral movement, and athletic ability. There is a near universal consensus among sites that Darrin is a mid level four star. His rating, which matters little at this point in his career, place him as high as the fifth best middle linebacker in the 2015 class. His scholarship is sound and the school web page listed Darren as one of many student athletes with over a 3.67 semester average.

Michigan is again compelled to take a small class in 2015. This makes every available scholarship a near must hit for the staff. Darrin is the first linebacker to commit to the 2015 class. This begs the question: will he be the only linebacker commitment? Darrin was told that the staff was looking at only one more linebacker in this class. Clearly Michigan needs at least a couple more offensive linemen and another tight end. On defense, the elusive impact defensive lineman remains a big need.

Darrin Kirkland Jr.
Height: 6’2.
Weight: 220.
Number: 34
Current Position: Linebacker.
Future Position: Linebacker (Could play all three, but we prefer Mike).
City/State: Indianapolis, Indiana.
High School: Lawrence Central.
Head Coach: Jed Richman
Recruiter: Coach Curt Mallory and Greg Mattison.
Committed: 5/18/2014.
Top 5 other Offers: Nebraska, Oregon, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Texas.
40-Time: 4.58
Shuttle: 4.29
Bench Max: 305
Squat Max: 370
Vertical: 32″
GPA: 3.5
Class: 2015 Michigan Wolverine Recruiting Class (Verbal Commit).

Darrin Kirkland Jr. 6Follow Darrin: on Twitter


24/7: 4-star.
ESPN: 4-star.
Rivals: 4-star.
Scout: 4-star.

Note: Stars do matter, but are not absolute in predicting success within a football program. So, with that in mind the GBMWolverine Staff has cleverly come up with a new system of ranking. We are using footballs instead of stars, how can one argue against a system that clever? Below are the interpretations of football power predicted way too boldly long before it matters. In other words, we will give informed opinion with the crystal ball and let the players determine what will happen through years of hard work.

Criteria: Raw talent, athleticism, position of need, intangibles.

GBMWolverine Rankings: .

We had a little disagreement between staff members on his ranking. We had him as a 7 1/2 or 8 footballs … you decide.

10 footballs: Instant impact player.
9 footballs: Three or four-year starter at a high level.
8 footballs: A starter with all league potential.
7 footballs: A meaningful starter at some time during a career.

6 footballs: A spot starter or special teams player.
5 footballs: Not in the two deep after a two years.
4 footballs: Never made it.
1-3 footballs: See the above.

Side Note:

Remember just as we did during the season with grading positions or groups we are very tough graders and expect a lot out of those positions or players so this is no different here.

Darrin Kirkland Jr. 5Overview:

Darrin is an athletic linebacker capable of playing any of the three linebacker positions. We think he is best suited to play the Mike in Michigan’s 4-3 over defense. He recorded 138 tackles and 7 sacks as a sophomore. Darrin ran a reported 4.58 40-yard dash at camps last spring. He is a good student with a reported 3.5 GPA.


Kirkland shows very good movement skills, including lateral sideline to sideline closing speed and possesses very good explosiveness. He is fundamentally sound, shows good quick feet and sound positioning. His film shows an ability to play in space and discounting some high efforts shows sound tackling. Darrin bends his knees very well.

Darrin Kirkland Jr. and Coach MattisonConcerns/Needs Work:

Darrin will need to add solid weight and gain strength. He needs to use his hands and flippers better. Also, Darrin needs to take on blockers instead of avoiding them on occasions.

Red-shirt or play his Freshman Year?

GBMWolverine believes he will likely red-shirt his first year to gain weight and strength along with depth right now at linebacker isn’t a real need to play.

Darrin Kirkland Jr. reminds the GBMWolverine Staff of — Former Michigan Football Player — Sam Sword — who played Linebacker.

Video Highlights:

2013 Season
Link: Hudl

2012 Season

2014 Interview

Final Thoughts:

We welcome Darrin Kirkland Jr. to Michigan and hope he has a successful career on and off the football field as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan. Go Blue!

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

Go Blue — Wear Maize!

Tags: Coach Brady Hoke Darrin Kirkland Jr. Football Michigan Football Michigan Wolverines Recruiting

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