A massive offensive line prospect and top-100 national recruit in the 2023 class is set to return to Clemson in June for what will be his second trip to campus in three months.
After attending the Orange & White spring game in April, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips four-star tackle Payton Kirkland – a 6-foot-8, 310-pound rising junior – will make an unofficial visit to Clemson on June 2.
“I’m very excited to be able to have an opportunity to take a visit,” Kirkland told The Clemson Insider. “It’s been over a year since we were able to take visits (due to the NCAA dead period). I was able to attend the spring game, and I loved the environment.”
With the dead period still in place, Kirkland couldn’t have in-person contact with the coaching staff while on campus for the spring game but will finally be able to meet the coaches next month, as the dead period is scheduled to end May 31.
“Actually being with the coaches face to face and getting a good feel for the campus and the energy that’s out there,” he said of what he’s most looking forward to about the upcoming visit experience.
Kirkland also plans to work out at the Dabo Swinney Camp session on June 2 and has something to prove to the coaches as he competes and tries to earn an offer from the Tigers.
“I’m an all-around animal,” he said. “That’s what I’d like to prove.”
A slew of other schools are slated to draw visits from Kirkland this summer, as well.
“Georgia, Miami, Florida State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M and LSU, Ohio State and Michigan,” he listed.
Kirkland, who has already collected over 40 offers, would certainly give Clemson a strong look if it joins his offer list.
“That would mean a lot,” he said. “They don’t usually offer a lot of guys and they’re very selective with who they offer. So, I’d definitely consider Clemson as much as I’d consider any other program in the long run.”
Kirkland is ranked as a top-100 national prospect in the 2023 class by both Rivals (No. 79 overall) and the 247Sports Composite (No. 87 overall). According to the composite rankings, he is the No. 16 prospect in the state of Florida and No. 8 offensive tackle nationally.
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