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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Kirk shows exceptional resilience despite loss in likely final A&M game

Belk+Bowl
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver
Belk Bowl

CHARLOTTE – Medical personnel began to bring a cart onto the field as Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk clutched his lower leg in pain after being rolled up from behind while blocking for Aggie running back Trayveon Williams on a screen pass.
That cart never reached Kirk though, as the junior wide receiver got up and shook it off.
A&M interim head coach Jeff Banks said he could hear Kirk moaning on the ground, but the agony was not enough to keep the Aggies’ top-target from playing.
“He’s going to fight for us no matter what,” fellow wide receiver Damion Ratley said. “Me personally, I didn’t think he was going to come back, but he showed his true toughness and he showed the team that he really cares about them because we all know what his future holds for him.”
The potential first-round NFL Draft pick could have easily made a business decision to leave the game with much to look forward to in the pros. But Kirk made a decision that didn’t surprise his teammates – he finished the game.
“I don’t know if he’s going to leave this year or not, but we all know he has a high draft grade,” Ratley said. “For him to come back after an injury like that and rise it for our team to try and get the W, it was big for the whole team to know he is a true leader and a true warrior.”
Despite setting a bowl-record performance by reeling in 13 catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns, Kirk and the Aggies fell short at Friday’s Belk Bowl in what was likely his final game at A&M.
Still, Kirk’s teammates were impressed with the resiliency shown by the All-American, even when some thought he had broken his ankle.
“He had a heck of a game,” Ford said. “Rolled up on, came back and played, we already knew that’s who Christian was, and he’s a team player. He’s a tough guy.”
Down the majority of the game, Kirk’s teammates said he knew he would needed to be counted on if the Aggies were going to have a chance to be victorious.
Kirk’s comeback did not come with a storybook ending though. The prime target was not even thrown to on the Aggies’ final offensive possession.
“He doesn’t want to quit, he doesn’t want to lose, and if he can go through it and help us try and not lose, then he’s going to do,” Ratley said.
With Kirk’s career likely over, he ended as one of the top receivers in A&M history. Kirk passed Jeff Fuller in career receptions (234) for second all-time. He also would finish third in career receiving yards (2,856) and third in career touchdowns (26).
Despite having his least productive year, Banks was proud of Kirk’s selflessness shown throughout the season.
“For him to be as unselfish as he has throughout the entire back half of this season in preparation for the bowl, it’s just who he his. It’s just awesome and fitting to see him bounce back and make the plays he did to get the game in a position for us to win.”

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