January 23, 2012

Kirven talks Tide, visit and decision

Rivals250 defensive lineman Korren Kirven took his official visit to the University of Alabama over the weekend. The Virginia native talked with TideSports.com about the visit, the Crimson Tide and his upcoming decision.

Kirven plans to decide between Alabama, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia Tech on National Signing Day.

Q: When did you get in to Tuscaloosa for your official visit?
A: I got up there Friday and talked with all of the coaches when I first got there, Coach (Nick) Saban, Coach (Chris) Rumph, all of the coaching staff, Coach (Lance) Thompson. He came down there from Tennessee. I met with them and talked to them. We went out to a dinner at this good fish place. It was pretty good. From there, I went out with my host and just chilled with them and really got a feel for Alabama.

Q: Who was your host for the weekend?
A: My host was Cyrus Kouandjio and Jeoffrey Pagan.

Q: What did you and Coach Saban talk about on your visit?
A: I was talking to Coach Saban about different stuff. We talked about the whole character role and how he wants kids with good character. We talked about how they're going to use me as a defensive end with three, five and six-technique. That way, I can be more versatile and play almost any position on the defensive line.

He was telling me they don't just run a 3-4 (defense). They run a 4-3 most of the time. They just get into the 3-4 when they're in regular personnel. He was telling me about the depth chart and different stuff like that.

We started talking about the Coach (Joe) Paterno thing and how that turned out and how sad it was. We talked about a lot of different things this weekend. I probably spent the most time with him this whole weekend.

Q: You mentioned Coach Thompson coming from Tennessee, one of your other finalists. Did you know him before when he was in Knoxville?
A: Yes, sir. Before Coach (Peter) Sirmon and Coach (Justin) Wilcox left, we were all real close. When they left, Coach Thompson came in and took the role of my recruiting coordinator for Tennessee. When Coach Sal (Sunseri) left Alabama for Tennessee, he kind of took over a little bit, and Coach Thompson came to Alabama. They switched coaches a little bit, but it's all right. You can't expect everybody to stay where they are. That happens sometimes.

Q: How was the championship celebration on Saturday?
A: It was nice. There were a lot of fans up there, about 30- or 40,000. They were showing us the BCS game, and the fans were still getting hyped, clapping and cheering for the game. It's probably about two weeks old now. It was cool to see that.

A big part of that, they honored the All-Americans. I think they had about eight of them up there, and I was like 'Dang, that's a lot of All-Americans.' They honored Coach Saban with the BCS crystal ball, and they set fireworks off, and it was just a big deal. It was a nice presentation.

Q: Did you get a chance to meet some of the other recruits while you were down there?
A: I already knew Brandon Greene from the Under Armour game, so we're good friends. The quarterback from Texas (Alec Morris), I met him. Me and Casey (Gladney), the wide receiver, he's a cool dude, so I hung out with him a lot, too.

Q: Talk about each of your finalists and what you like about each school.
Alabama: Alabama is a great school and has a beautiful campus. All of the coaching staff are great coaches. Two national championships in three years, so they're a winning program. They always recruit the best players, and that would be great competition if I went there. With the way they develop you, no other school really can do it like they do it. The guys there are always going pro. The coaches told me they would probably have over 10 to 15 guys get drafted this year. Roll Tide is one of the biggest names in sports. It's just a great program.


Maryland: That was my first time going up there. (Running backs coach Andre) Powell has been trying to get me up there for quite awhile. At first, I was kind of shaky and wondered if I should do it, but it turned out to be a great place. It's a beautiful campus. The food was outstanding. The coaching staff was just real cool. They keep it real with you. I could definitely contribute early and possibly start up there.

Tennessee: Good coaching staff. They're hard recruiters. They want to get that thing rolling up at Tennessee. I can come in early and play. It's definitely a good school academically. It's a nice place. The coaching staff is real cool and down-to-earth people.

Virginia Tech: That's my home-state team. It's real close and convenient. The coaching staff is definitely a real good coaching staff, and they were the first school to offer me. The coaching staff is a stable coaching staff. They've been there for 20 years plus, so I don't expect any of them to be going anywhere anytime soon.

That's where everybody pushes me towards, but it's definitely going to be my decision. It's not going to be made up by anybody else.

Q: What are the main factors you're looking for when choosing a school?
A: Whatever school carries my major. I'm thinking about architecture or graphic design, and mostly all of them do. The coaching staff, I have to be able to like them and feel level of comfortability there. I just want a school where I can succeed and excel, a school that can develop me well and get me ready, possibly, for the next level.

Q: Does Alabama have the program you're interested in majoring in?
A: They actually don't have architecture. It's more graphic design. They have architecture as a minor, but graphic design was the field that I looked at a lot this weekend. It was nice. I met a lot of different people this weekend, different graphic design people, different presidents and teachers. I had a real nice time meeting with all of these different people.

Q: Do any of your four remaining schools stand out at this point?
A: I don't have any favorites at the time. We'll find out on Feb. 1, signing day.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.

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