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‘It felt like Christmas’: 2023 four-star OL Payton Kirkland reacts to hearing from Harbaugh, Moore

Kirkland is a top target for Michigan in 2023.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Michigan State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive line coach/co-offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore reached out to 2023 four-star offensive lineman Payton Kirkland on Wednesday, the first day college coaches could reach out to members of the junior class, he told Maize n Brew.

“I talked to Harbaugh (Wednesday) night and Moore (Thursday) morning,” Kirkland said. “The conversations went well. It felt like Christmas in a sort of way last night. They are great coaches and even better men.

“They just wanted to hit me up early and let me know I’m a priority.”

The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder plays at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando. He visited Michigan back in July and says that visit “went well,” and that he was most impressed with the Wolverines’ player development.

As far as a possible return visit to Ann Arbor, Kirkland admits he isn’t sure yet as he tries to map out his fall schedule. He doesn’t believe he will be able to many any until after his junior season, so he’ll have to wait a little while until a possible second visit to Michigan.

He holds other significant offers from Ohio State, Florida State, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Miami, LSU, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State and more.

Kirkland is the No. 9 offensive tackle and No. 123 overall prospect on 247Sports’ composite for the 2023 class. He is one of 24 offensive linemen the Wolverines have offered up to this point in this class.

It is very early on, so Michigan has yet to land any commitments from prospects in the 2023 recruiting class.