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Kirkland tells UM thanks, but no thanks

They tried.

UM coaches met with Booker T. All-American offensive tackle Denver Kirkland Saturday and his mother, but weren't able to sway him to commit his stepfather, Shanton Crummie said.

"We appreciate everything Coach Golden and their coaches did in giving him another chance to be apart of their class and talking to him about what happened," said Crummie, who did not attend Saturday afternoon's meeting but gathered the details of it by speaking with Kirkland and his mother.

"The confusion here is that not many people were aware they had been telling us things were getting tight with scholarships. We told them Denver might have a decision by Feb. 1 or Feb. 2. We were just surprised and upset when they came to school Thursday and told him they couldn't wait any longer. We thought he would have until Signing Day as long as we told them they were in front or close. But they couldn't wait."

A source told The Miami Herald, assistants Art Kehoe, James Coley and Micheal Barrow were among those who attended the meeting. Head coach Al Golden was not there, the source said.

Crummie said Kirkland had Miami high "up there with Arkansas" because of academics, but when they pulled the scholarship he was hurt and just never felt the same again.

"In the end we have no bad blood with Coach Golden or UM," Crummie said. "We understand what happened and they explained why they did what they did. They were hoping they could change his mind, but after talking it out he just decided it was best to move on."

Crummie said Kirkland will decide between Arkansas and Florida State and make his announcement on Signing Day.

UM still has hope it will land Kirkland's teammate star linebacker Matthew Thomas. National Signing Day is Wednesday.

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