After months of visiting campuses, talking to coaches and thinking about his options, offensive lineman Dr. Phillips payton kirkland You have made your college decision.
The 4-star recruit announced his oral commitment to the University of Texas during a Saturday night ceremony despite not visiting the school.
Kirkland chose the future SEC Longhorns over several schools, including Florida, Miami, Oklahoma and Michigan State, all of which hosted the 6-foot-6, 345-pound lineman for an official visit this summer.
“Bombee-faked the whole country. That was my goal,” Kirkland told the Orlando Sentinel. “I want to leave my impact on the University of Texas. The class of 2023 can build something amazing.”
The Dr. Phillips product joins a packed Texas recruiting class featuring the nation’s top prospect: five-star quarterback Arch Manning, nephew of Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, as well as grandson of Archie Manning.
Before he landed in Kirkland, Texas, he already had the No. 4 recruiting class in the country for the 2023 cycle.
The Longhorns now add their first Florida State prospect in Kirkland, who ranks as the 25th-ranked offensive tackle nationally, according to 247Sports.
Kirkland explained why he chose to commit to Texas coach Steve Sarkisian and the rest of his staff.
“They were there for me at a time when no one else was,” Kirkland said. “They stayed in communication with me even when I was injured. They made me feel like a priority.”
Kirkland is the fifth offensive lineman to commit to the Longhorns this draft cycle, something that caught the Orlando native’s attention.
“They prioritize the offensive line, so I prioritize them,” he said.
Texas could dip back into Orlando’s talent pool. Edgewater 4-star running back Cedric Baxter recently included the Longhorns in his top four schools, joining Miami, Florida and Texas A&M. He will announce his choice on August 10.
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All verbal commitments are non-binding until December, when the early signing period opens and they can be made official.
Jones4-star linebacker Malik Bryant shared on Saturday that she postponed her engagement date.
Bryant scheduled an announcement ceremony at Jones High School, but later that day canceled the event without giving a reason.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound prospect was expected to choose between Miami, Alabama, Florida and Maryland. It’s unclear when he plans to make his announcement.
Bryant ranks as the No. 4 linebacker in the country for the draft class of 2023, according to 247Sports.
Terry Gilliam contributed to this report.