Star Power: Kirk Believes Mentorship Paying Off

The Saguaro High School football program has always taken a pay-it-forward mentality.

Great players from their past pass on knowledge of the game to the present and even future Sabercats.

Christian Kirk will long be remembered as one of the greatest players in the 11-time state champions’ history. Not only a dynamic player on the field but a leader and role model for the younger players off it.

Kirk sees a little bit of himself in one of the Sabercats’ current high-profile recruits.

“Right now I feel leadership-wise the guy to take over the team is probably K.J. Jarrell,” Kirk told’s Brad Cesmat during a recent in-studio interview. “I like what I see from him.”

High praise from a star like Kirk who just finished his freshman season at Texas A&M garnering SEC Newcomer of the Year Award accolades after catching 80 passes for 1009 yards and seven touchdowns. He also returned two punts for scores.

Kirk is envisioning the same type of progression from the six-foot three, 175-pound safety Jarrell who has a laundry list of offers from schools like Arizona State, Arizona, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Texas A&M, UCLA and Utah among others.

In many ways Kirk has been grooming Jarrell for this moment since the two were teammates at Saguaro.

“I had a lot of talks with him when he was young,” Kirk said. “Telling him that one day [this] team is going to be yours…this is your year and you need to be that guy to take over a game at any point and just be that game-changer.”

If anyone knows from their own experiences, it’s Christian Kirk.