COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Christian Kirk was so impactful last season as a true freshman that a number of A&M’s wins could be credited to his performance. For his work, Kirk was named the SEC Freshman of the Year.
Simply put, after one season, there isn’t much Christian Kirk hasn’t done at A&M. Monday afternoon, he checked one of those few items off his list by giving his first interview. While Kirk – who caught 80 passes for 1,009 yards and seven touchdowns and had two put returns for TDs last season – discussed a number of topics, the one that stood out the most was his obvious love for A&M.
“When Kyle Allen decided to transfer, I felt like everybody was saying … it’s me next because Kyle is one of my best friends and people thought he was the big reason for me coming here,” Kirk said. “But I came here because I love Texas A&M. I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again: I came here because this is the best fit for me.
“If I could do it all over again, would I go somewhere else? No.”
Kirk’s teammates certainly are glad he’s in College Station and vice versa. While Kirk has abilities that cannot be taught, he says he feels as if he has grown because of the team and the people around him.
“Last year, I pretty much saw it all, from the best it could get to the worst it could get,” he said. “That helped me grow a lot, but so did the older guys in the receiving group. They picked me up when I was low and kept me humble when I was flying high. I’m really excited with where we are right now.”
As good as his freshman season was, there’s always room for improvement, especially in a new offense. Special teams coordinator Jeff Banks talked about how exactly Kirk can continue to hone his craft.
“With Christian, it’s going to be a really fine balance of learning the new offense, getting all the reps at receivers, and then becoming better as a returner,” Banks said. “That comes down to fielding the balls that maybe you didn’t field last year, being more assertive and getting a better jump on punts.”
That new offensive system Banks alluded to may play a role as well. One week into the system, Kirk likes where things are at.
“It’s balanced so that you get a taste of everything,” he said. “There’s lots of formations, and we’re going to throw a lot of stuff at you. It’s a lot to look at for a defense and I’ve had a few defensive players tell me that it’s a lot harder to defend.”
If Kirk becomes even harder to defend, he and A&M may be able to check a few more goals off their list this season.
(You can follow Cavender Neutze on Twitter @neutz9)
(Feature photo COURTESY OF TEXAS A&M ATHLETICS)
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