After a solid freshman year at Hawaii, Sophomore Keith Kirkwood has decided to finish his remaining three years of eligibility in Philadelphia at Temple University. Kirkwood was sixth on the team with 250 receiving yards, 12 receptions, and four touchdowns. He also was the team leader in yards per catch, averaging 20.8 YPC. Even as a freshman, Kirkwood was a solid contributor to the Warriors passing attack, including two big performances against USC and Navy, going for 70-plus yards and a scores in each occasion. He looked crisp in the Warrior bowl this spring as well, catching four passes for 49 yards. Of course, due to NCAA transfer rules, Kirkwood will not be able to suit up for the Owls until 2015.
Keith Kirkwood, originally from Neptune, NJ, has transferred to Temple from Hawaii.— Kyle Gauss (@kylegauss) August 2, 2014
Temple Coach Matt Rhule announced the transfer to the media after the morning practice Saturday, saying he's excited for what Kirkwood brings to the program. "We're excited to have Keith join us," he told reporters, "He's a good academic student who had a good season as a true freshman out there. We're happy to have him join us."
Kirkwood was the favorite to start at Z-receiver with the departure of Billy Ray Stutzmann, but his departure leaves the position up in the air, with several options to fill his role. Sophomore X-Receiver Marcus Kemp could be the easiest option for Hawaii. He saw action in 11 games and ended his freshman year with 11 catches and 110 yards. Kemp had a solid outing in the Warrior Bowl this spring as well, pulling in two catches for 47 yards. Redshirt Freshman Ammon Barker could be a diamond in the rough for the Warriors if he is given the nod. The 3-star WR was originally committed to UCLA, but flipped to Hawaii just a week before signing day. Barker finished his high school career with nearly 2,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns, and was ranked the 12th best recruit out of Utah by 247sports.
Whoever Coach Chow chooses to fill the void in the receiving corp left by Kirkwood will have to be a consistent contributor to the Hawaii passing attack, otherwise it'll be another year in the statistical cellar for the Warriors.