DITR: SS/OLB Denzel Kirkendoll, Bossier High School (Bossier City, Louisiana)

Denzel Kirkendoll is a 6’1, 185 lb defensive playmaker from the class of 2025. A standout talent, he can make plays from any position on defense. He is listed as a strong safety and linebacker, yet he has played on the line as an edge rusher, and in coverage as a cornerback. The fact that he can play every position at a high level, makes him a very intriguing prospect. The 3 star athlete from Bossier City stood out during Gridiron Football’s first Elite camp of the year. Denzel had one of the fastest 40 yard dash times, clocking in at 4.7 seconds. He also showed off his eye opening agility, and ability to change directions on a dime, with a 4.47 second 3 cone shuttle. Denzel’s legs aren’t only good for speed, as he also broad jumped 8 feet and 2 1/2 inches. The talent doesn’t stop at physicals with Denzel. He posses many intangibles including the ability to read a quarterbacks eye, a high motor, and the ability to be a team player. Due to this, Denzel was able to record multiple pass deflections during the 7 on 7 drills at camp. Built like a young Jamaal Adams, and possessing a will to win like no other, Denzel is going to be a Sunday player one day.

What made you fall in love with the game of football?

I was actually a little kid. I used to have a little LSU football helmet and pants. I would throw them on and sit in front of the TV to watch college football all day and night with my dad.

You play pretty much every position on defense, who are your all time 5 players to build a defense around, and why?

Middle linebackers would definitely be Ray Lewis and Luke Kuechly. Safety would definitely be Derwin James, I love and look up to him. Edge will be Lawrence Taylor for sure, and Primetime Deion Sanders at cornerback. I don’t think anyone would get past that defense.

I know you love Derwin James, are there any other safeties you look up too?

Kyle Hamilton, He’s been in the league about two years and I love the way he plays. He’s very aggressive and you can really tell that he watches a lot of film. He can diagnose plays very quickly.
Denzel with his Bossier High School teammates who also attended the Elite Camp (Left to right: Quintarion Scott, Elijah Thurman, Denzel Kirkendoll, Caleb Jones)

How would you say your coaches have positively influenced you?

They motivate me to be more of a team leader and to lead my team through hardships and hard times. They’ve really bettered me as a football player.

Do you like to rush the quarterback or drop into pass coverage more?

Personally, I love to put pressure on the quarterback. That being said, I still do both very well.

What did you learn from the Gridiron Football Elite camp that you will take into next season?

I learned how to work with new people. I had never met those guys before but they were some great athletes. During the 7 on 7 we had to learn how to communicate as a team and roll coverages and just play as one unit.

Do you play any sports outside of football?

I used to run track alot. My freshman year I actually won the 400 meter dash and went all the way to regionals. My sophomore year I went back to regionals, but that was for the 4×1 relay race.

Have you ever, or would you be open to playing on the offensive side of the ball?

Yes sir, I am just a playmaker and will do whatever my team needs for us to win

What is a challenge you had to overcome in life, and how did you get through it?

I’ve been playing varsity for 4 years so I have been undersized compared to everyone else for most of that time. I had to learn to use my speed and other advantages to get to where I want to be.

What are some of your goals within the game of football?

To be honest with you, just to win every game. I take it one game at a time, and just want to make big plays for my team to win. I want to will us to a championship, or winning district, or just winning overall.

What is your best on the field attribute?

My brain honestly. I can diagnose a play very quickly. I sit there and watch film all night about what our opponents offense are going to do.