At every stage of the game, Scottsdale native Christian Kirk has wowed his coaches and his teammates even before he was a superstar for our Arizona Cardinals.
ABC15 recently spoke with Christian's mom, Melissa Kirk, about what it's like to see her son rise to new heights in our backyard.
As a baby, Christian always knew how to get everyone's attention, but as soon as he was old enough to hit the field, his mom says he let his talents do the talking.
"He was just a go-getter," explains Melissa. "He always wanted to do something new and had to master it quickly."
That energy was undeniable! As a well-rounded athlete, he could dazzle on any field, but there was something about football he fell in love with.
"We started him out in baseball...and he was in the outfield chasing butterflies! It was too slow for him, so shortly thereafter, we realized football was it."
Melissa goes on to say how Christian responded well to structure, which football also provided.
"He just has a very natural work ethic and is very regimented. He liked schedule and football seemed to fit that nature to want to be on a schedule."
It was a skill Christian would carry with him as a Saguaro Sabercat.
"Christian always played up," Melissa explained. "He was always the youngest player. And he really wanted to make sure he belonged with those players. contributing just as much, even though they were older."
After high school, Christian headed to the Lone Star State, attending Texas A&M, but Mom and Dad were never far behind.
"When he was in college, we went to every game. We followed him all over the country...I would have flown right there in a heartbeat and a couple times, I had to. And he just knew I would always be there for him. And I always will be. It's a mom thing. That's what moms do."
That family support, his raw talent, and his drive to succeed all paid off.
"He showed up on TV for the combine and I started bawling. I couldn't believe he made it. It's something you see your child wish for, for so long, and he's there...it gets me emotional, but that was a really special moment."
And there were more special moments just around the corner, like when Christian was drafted in the second round by his hometown team.
"He's super intelligent. He's actually a really smart guy, and his work ethic is that he gets up and grinds every day," Melissa said when asked about what makes her the proudest.
"I don't care if he gets a touchdown or if he's a football player. I love Christian for Christian. He's going to make this world a better place by being here on this earth, and that's all he needs to know. He'll always have his father and I by his side."
So what makes Christian so disciplined? Melissa thinks it has something to do with many of their family members having served in the military, like Christian's father, Evan, and her father. She believes that military mindset and discipline really shaped Christian into the adult he's become.
Melissa also says Christian got her speed from her! She revealed as disciplined as Christian is, he has a hard time resisting her homemade meatloaf or macaroni and cheese!