Cardinals’ Christian Kirk talks Snoop Dogg, liver shakes and Kevin Sumlin
Christian Kirk grew up a Valley kid. He decided to branch out when he left Saguaro High School, choosing to sign with Texas A&M over the local Arizona State Sun Devils and the UCLA Bruins, who had recruiting pull with top-rated quarterback Josh Rosen heading to Westwood.
After three years playing receiver under head coach Kevin Sumlin, Kirk entered the 2018 NFL Draft to see his journey come full circle when the Arizona Cardinals selected him with the 47th overall pick.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity, not only for the opportunity to play early but to be able to learn under one of the best receivers to play the game (in Larry Fitzgerald),” Kirk told Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday. “To be able to get that knowledge and experience he has, I’m just going to soak everything in because I know it’s just going to help me that much more be successful early.”
While visiting Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, Kirk also discussed his career with the Aggies, reuniting with A&M teammates Ricky Seals-Jones and Brandon Williams, and the liver shakes that make up his diet.
On leaving Scottsdale, Ariz., for College Station, Texas: “Individually, I grew so much as a person. Number one, just putting myself in a different atmosphere. Moving to the south — culturally it’s a lot different — but learned a lot of new things and made a lot of relationships I’ll have for a lifetime now.”
On former A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s new job as head coach for the Arizona Wildcats: “I think he’s going to have a great time over there at UofA. I think he’s going to do real good recruiting the Valley. He’s just a true players’ coach and does everything for his players.”
To the skeptics about his ability to play as an outside receiver (Kirk is viewed by some as a slot receiver): “To be honest, I don’t really say too much except for that I can do it. I had the same type of thing coming out of high school. A lot of people said I had the talent to be a five-star but didn’t know if I could translate it to be a No. 1 receiver in college — thought I was just going to be a punt returner, kick returner and your average slot.
“I proved everybody wrong at the next level at Texas A&M. I’m just looking to forward to the opportunity to doing it now. There’s plenty of guys that are under 6-feet tall that are top receivers.”
— Dan Hellie (@DanHellie) March 21, 2018
Why he drinks liver smoothies: “Our director of player development at A&M, big boxing fan, called me in one day and was like, ‘hey, there’s this boxer, Andre Ward, world champion. His approach to his work and what he does really reminds me of you. I think he’d be a good guy to follow.’ I started following him and reading up on stuff, and an article came out about his nutrition during training for a fight and one of this things was liver smoothie. It’s not straight liver — it has fruit and protein and what not in there but nutrition is huge for me. I’m always trying to find a way to one-up everybody when it comes to nutrition or recovery. It’s just another way to get that extra boost.”
On reuniting with TE Ricky Seals-Jones and CB Brandon Williams: “I’ve talked to them a lot and even last year when they were already here, being able to talk with them, they said they love it. Definitely always talk about the heat and how hot it is here. But they didn’t have to get too used to it because they’re Texas boys.
“Those guys, obviously with Ricky being a receiver at A&M, we spent every day together and just having him — he’s a big brother figure to me. Same with Brandon Williams. He really took me under his wing when I first got to A&M and just pushed me to get better doing extra. We worked a lot together when he made his transition to playing corner (from running back) and spent countless hours after practice working one-on-ones, working techniques.
About the time Snoop Dogg flashed his jersey upon the Aggies’ Adidas jersey release: “That’s just an Adidas family thing. Snoop’s with Adidas, he’s one of the marquee kind of founders through getting Adidas’ name out there. He loves football and that video came out a while ago when we released our new jerseys, and he wanted to hold up mine. I have had some contact with him. That’s always super cool to have a guy on that level, who’s an A-list celebrity, doing that for you.”
On his decision to wear the No. 13 jersey previously worn by QB Kurt Warner: “Obviously it’s an honor. The effect that he had on the Cardinals’ organization and what he did for the community and what he’s done for me — I’ve worked out with him many of times, gone to his backyard, thrown in his backyard countless times, being able to gain knowledge from him. The opportunity to be able to wear that number means a lot.”