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26 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Terry Kirksey Jr.

In which BracketCat counts down the 26th day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State linebacker Terry Kirksey Jr.

#26 Jarell Childs
Hey, look, it’s linebacker Jarell Childs (26) again! This time, the number actually matches today’s profile, as incoming JUCO linebacker Terry Kirksey Jr. will don the No. 26 jersey entering 2023.
Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

#26 Terry Kirksey Jr.

True Junior | 6-3 | 232 lbs. | Theodore, Alabama
Terry Kirksey Jr.
Terry Kirksey Jr.
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Previous College: Hutchinson Community College
  • Projection: Second-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Terry Kirksey Jr. (b. July 12, 2002) is a powerful, agile community college transfer linebacker from Hutchinson Community College who is majoring in communication studies.

Kirksey, a quality tackler who could provide additional depth behind the three returning starters in 2023, has three years left to play two seasons.

He prepped under head coach Steve Normand at Baker High School in Mobile County, Alabama, where he earned first-team all-state honors as a senior from the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) and was named to the All-Coastal Alabama team by

Kirksey also was named a finalist for the ASWA Class 7A Lineman of the Year award after he finished his senior campaign for the Hornets with 140 tackles, including 19 tackles for loss and 15 sacks while also forcing 11 fumbles.

He then played two seasons for the Blue Dragons under head coach Drew Dallas and was regarded as the 21st-best overall community college prospect in the Class of 2023 by On3, while he was rated the third-best JUCO linebacker by On3, 247Sports and ESPN.

An NJCAA honorable mention All-America honoree, Kirksey totaled 102 tackles during his two-year career, including an 80-tackle campaign as a sophomore to earn first-team all-conference honors and help to lead Hutchinson to an NJCAA National Championship game.

He also had 6.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks as a sophomore.

Kirksey totaled three games of at least 10 tackles in 2022 — collecting 12 tackles at Iowa Western, 11 tackles at Coffeyville and 10 tackles against Butler.

He also had eight tackles in the NJCAA National Championship game against Iowa Western.

Kirksey had 22 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss as a freshman in 2021, highlighted by when he tallied a season-high six tackles against Highland, and he had an interception that was returned for 20 yards against Independence.

He committed to K-State over offers from Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Charlotte, Colorado State, Connecticut, Indiana, Jacksonville State, Kansas, Liberty, Marshall, Nebraska, Purdue, Southern Miss, Tennessee State, Troy, UNLV, USF, Washington State and Western Kentucky.

Here’s what defensive coordinator Joe Klanderman had to say about Kirksey’s potential:

Certainly (he can lighten the load for Daniel Green). He’s flashing a little bit more and more. Not unlike a lot of others, he was swimming a little bit, not only at the volume of installation, but also at the pace with which we practice and the expectations of how we run the ball and some of that stuff. That was a little foreign to him. He didn’t bat an eye. We kind of got on him a little bit and got him going on some of that stuff. He’s getting better every practice. He will certainly be a factor in the fall.