On the football field he is a jitterbug perfume, skinny legs and all, a never-still life pecking his way to football greatness. Tacklers look half-asleep in frog pajamas trying to grab him with clumsy giant thumbs, standing there like alligator-boy museums beside the side of the road while he scoots for the end zone, a wild duck flying backward among invalids from hot climates.
Christian Kirk can turn a football game into a Keystone Cops chase. He's a battleground state in football politics, the kind of scintillating talent that makes football coaches look like geniuses and makes young women swoon.
He has moves like the Matrix, stop/starts that are almost invisible in real time. By the end of his junior year he had over two dozen offers, a five-star list that includes Texas A&M, Ohio State, USC, Florida State, Texas and the Ducks. In the spring and summer he'll conduct an airline tour of unofficial visits to trim the list, USC on Valentine weekend, the Buckeyes February 27th, Oregon March 8th. Pretty girls will rub his forearm meaningfully, and coaches will offer to rename first-born sons.
Last summer he went to The Opening, one of four juniors among a gathering of the best senior talent in the nation. At 5-10, 185 the Saguaro High, Scottsdale, Arizona product ran a 4.49 40, heaved the powerball 38 feet and leapt 36.3 inches in the vertical jump, scoring just below Adoree' Jackson and far ahead of Juju Smith.
In the fall he led Saguaro to a 13-1 record and a Division III state title. In the championship game he raced for 18 carries, 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 101 yards and two more tds receiving. For the year he totaled 2,331 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns, an elusive, quick-twitch wonder that baffled defenses and found routes to the end zone even when hemmed in on all sides.
He wants to play somewhere warm, but even more than that, he wants to play at the school that will best prepare him for the NFL.
Like many elite recruits, he has no doubt of his value and a complete understanding of his vast and nearly innumerable options. Desk calendars get cleared of laptops and coffee cups when he calls. He told mblock.com, the recruiting hype organ of Michigan football, "I play fast. I'm pretty sure it's obvious to most people when they watch my film. I'm very dynamic and I can play multiple positions. However, I have remained very good at one main position. I have really good, reliable hands and I play hard and physical. Whatever college I go to, people can expect big plays and something to happen every time I have the ball in my hands."
In every season there are only a handful of talented athletes who can make statements like that, and for 18 months, the world crowds around them like a horde of paparazzi flashing 50 clicks a minute for a glimpse of a starlet's bra strap.