Payton Kirkland is a 6’7 315 pound offensive tackle from Orlando, FL.
The Class of 2023 prospect attends Dr. Phillips High School.
Kirkland has offers from the Arkansas Razorbacks, Arizona State Sun Devils, Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, LSU Tigers, Miami-Florida Hurricanes, Michigan State Spartans, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Ole Miss Rebels, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers, USC Trojans, Virginia Tech Hokies, and West Virginia Mountaineers, among others, so he’ll eventually be a blue-chip prospect.
In late June, he was offered by offensive line coach Alex Atkins and Florida State Seminoles football:
TN spoke with Kirkland after the offer to learn more:
Who’d you speak to when getting the offer?
“I spoke with Coach Atkins.
What was that conversation like?
“The conversation went smooth, as always, with coach. He spoke with my mom and told her everything before telling me.”
What was her reaction?
“My mom was extremely joyful—FSU is one of my childhood favorites.”
And your reaction?
“I was in shock actually—I felt it was HUGE. I never thought I’d be jn the position I’m in today.”
What’s your relationship like with Coach Atkins?
“We have a great relationship—I feel as if we can just be real with each other. It isn’t like a modified relationship.”
So I’m assuming you feel AA is someone you could see yourself potentially playing for in the future?
“1000%. One of the most down to earth coaches I’ve met thus far.”
Does it hurt Florida State’s chances that they weren’t the first in-state school to offer?
“Not at all—my options are 1000% open.”
Noticed you got an offer from your “dream school” UGA after FSU. Does that change anything?
“It doesn’t at all. Coaching staffs change often. I’m not sure what the future holds.”
Do you plan to visit FSU when the Dead Period ends?
“For sure! I was in Tally in March, but the visit got cut short due to the virus shutting everything down that very day.”
What other schools do you hope/plan to visit?
“I plan to visit UGA, FSU, UF, Michigan State and Penn State.”
How would you describe your style of play?
“I feel as if I’m an athlete. I move extremely well, and I feel I’m an entirely different player than I was last year. All I can say is enjoy the show this coming season.”
What player(s) do you look up to/model your game after?
“I model my game solely off of Jonathan Ogden.”
One of the all-time greats—you’re obviously a student of the game.
“Indeed I am.”
What do you like to do for fun outside of football?
“I take my basketball very seriously, as well—I play on the Nike circuit for E1T1.”
What’s a random/fun fact about you that people might not know?
“I sing...A LOT.”
What do you like to sing?
What are the biggest things you’re looking for in a school?
“I’m looking for a school that is suitable for my family and [me]—somewhere that can set me up for the next 45 years of my life.”
Any specific characteristics you’re looking for?
“A family environment and a program pushing to be better every season.”