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4-star Kirkland chooses Razorbacks

Arkansas once again reached into Florida to land a talented football recruit with the addition of Miami Booker T. Washington 4-star offensive lineman Denver Kirkland.

Denver Kirkland chose Arkansas over many other national powers.

Kirkland announced for the Razorbacks on ESPNU on Wednesday morning.

"I have decided to spend my next three or four years at the University of Arkansas," Kirkland said.

"I can't wait to get up there and start going to work for them. Its going to be a fun four years there."

Kirkland visited Arkansas on Jan. 25 and admitted at the time that Arkansas was even better than he thought it would be.

"I loved the visit to Arkansas," he said Wednesday. "I was surprised by how much I liked it and I kind of felt like it was a home away from home."

Kirkland talked about Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema's history of putting linemen in the NFL.

"The effect that had on me was really good," Kirkland said. "The coaches help players get to the [NFL]. That was a big impact on my decision."

Kirkland chose Arkansas over Florida State, Miamia, Ole Miss and South Florida. He took official visits to all five schools. It appeared early he was headed to Miami, but the two kind of went separate ways this past weekend. Miami said it no longer had room for Kirkland, but then changed its stance.

"I would probably have gone to Miami. It was really disappointing the way they treated me," Kirkland said. "I feel like I had been crossed. Once that person crosses you one time you can't let them cross you again."

Arkansas assistant Randy Shannon, the former Miami head coach, was Kirkland's lead recruiter and the primary reason the Under Armour All-American considered the Razorbacks.

"I trust Randy Shannon," Kirkland said. "That is a good man. He is one of the main reasons why I am going to Arkansas. I know he will look after me and my mom trusts him too.

"It is a family bond at Arkansas. I have a better relationship with the coaches at Arkansas rather than the UM coaches."

Kirkland said it was difficult to leave his south Florida home.,

"There was a lot of stress over the last week," he said. "I have to follow my heart and go away from home. It is tough to leave my mom because she is such a key part of my life. I have to do what I have to do."

Kirkland has a composite grade of 93 with 247Sports as well as the No. 145 player in the nation, No. 9 offensive guard and No. 24 recruit in Florida.

Kirkland could play guard or tackle for the Razorbacks.

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