When Kirk, a Scottsdale native, was drafted by his hometown team in late April, his journey to the NFL came full circle. He grew up watching the Cardinals. Now he's teammates with one of his boyhood idols.
"It's just such a blessing to be able to come and play with [the Cardinals]," Kirk said a couple days after the draft. "Especially with Larry, just watching him as a little kid and idolizing him. Every time seeing him and just always glowing just because how much of an impact he's had on the community and whatnot, and how great of a football player he is.
"Now, I get the opportunity to learn from him and play with him. It's all super crazy to me."
Since that fateful camp 15 years ago, Kirk and Fitzgerald have crossed paths numerous times.
When Kirk was in elementary school, he was Pop Warner teammates with one of former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner's sons. Warner would sometimes take Fitzgerald along to watch the games and Kirk got to meet the star receiver again.
When Kirk began starring at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, he got the chance to get on the field before some Cardinals games and stood more than once on the same pregame field as Fitzgerald while the All-Pro warmed up.
As he continued to shine in high school, Kirk's network began to grow. Kirk started meeting people who knew Fitzgerald personally, but it wasn't until Kirk was at Texas A&M that he was given a direct line to Fitzgerald.
Bill Biggs, who specialized in public relations and had worked with Fitzgerald in the past, approached Kirk after speaking at one of his PR classes at Texas A&M. He said Kirk reminded him of Fitzgerald. He also mentioned that Fitzgerald had asked him to pass his number to the budding Aggies star and that Kirk should reach out.
That kicked off Kirk and Fitzgerald's friendship.
"I'm always a fan of kids that come from my city," Fitzgerald said. "I watched him, I watched D.J. [Foster] in high school [at the same school as Kirk] when they were playing. I kind of bounce around on Friday nights to different games.
"I like to support the local kids and to see what he was able to accomplish at Texas A&M, and now being a second-round draft pick for his hometown team, that's the stuff of legend. That's what you always dream about. He's getting to live his dream. I want him to be as successful as he aspires to be."Tags: cheap nfl jerseys china, discount nfl jerseys china, nfl jerseys, nfl jerseys for sale cheap, nfl jerseys wholesale