Four-star OL Payton Kirkland details Miami football as finalist

Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program was named as one of the top five for four-star offensive lineman Payton Kirkland. Kirkland tweeted his top five in a video on Friday. Kirkland likes the emphasis Miami places on the offensive line. Kirkland would be the second OL committed to the 2023 Miami class.

Alabama, Florida, Michigan State and Oklahoma are the other programs Kirkland placed in his top five. Florida appears to be the consensus leader early in his recruitments. Kirkland will announce his commitment on July 23. Three of the five programs Kirkland named as one of his finalists have new coaching staffs.

Florida hired Billy Napier from Louisiana as their new head coach. Brent Venables is entering his first year at Oklahoma after previously being the defensive coordinator at Clemson. Mario Cristobal and offensive line coach Alex Mirabal have quickly impressed Kirkland. Miami could lose the majority of its 2022 starting OL.

Freshmen have started on the Miami OL in recent seasons. Cristobal stressed the importance of playing well on the line of scrimmage when he was hired in December. Kirkland might have the chance to sign with Miami and play immediately. Rivals.Com stated Kirkland intends to take visits to each of his five finalists.

"Miami– “As of right now, Miami is ‘Offensive Line U’ because they have the most hands on deck when it comes down to the offensive line…Whether you’re at the bottom of the depth chart or at the top of the depth chart, you’re always going to be getting worked with. That official visit will probably be the second week of June.”"

Kirkland spoke to Adam Friedman of Rivals describing his reasons for naming Miami a finalist. Miami is expected to send left tackle Zion Nelson to the NFL after the 2023 season. When he was at Oregon, Cristobal and Mirabal mentored OT Penei Sewell who was the Detroit Lions selected in the 2021 NFL Draft first round.

Kirkland is the 203rd ranked player, 18th OL and 38th in Florida in the Class of 2023 per the 247 Sports composite rankings. Two crystal balls for Kirkland from 247 are split between Florida and Miami. Rivals lists Florida and Ohio State as tied in the projections for which program Kirkland will commit to.

Next. Miami behind programs ahead of March 24 visit with WR Brandon Inniss. dark

The projections from On3 predict Florida with a 68.3 percent chance to receive a commitment from Kirkland. Georgia is second at 25.0 percent. The Miami football program is significantly behind at 1.3 percent. Miami currently has commitments from wide receivers Andy Jean and Lamar Seymore and OL Antonio Trip.