The Panthers on Wednesday officially signed wide receiver Keith Kirkwood, who spent the last two seasons in New Orleans.
Before Kirkwood starts running routes for the Panthers, get to know the wide receiver:
During his time in New Orleans, Kirkwood worked with one of his future coaches in Carolina. In 2018, his rookie season overlapped with Joe Brady's stint in New Orleans as an offensive assistant.
But the coaching connections date back earlier than that.
Kirkwood began his college career at the University of Hawaii before transferring to Temple, where Matt Rhule was the Owls' head coach. During Kirkwood's redshirt junior season in 2016, the Owls won the AAC title and he finished second on the team in receiving yards.
A hooper at heart
Kirkwood didn't begin playing football until his senior year in high school. Before that, basketball was his No. 1 love.
In 2013, he earned a nomination on the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Team. He also played AAU alongside current NBA stars like Karl-Anthony Towns, DeAndre' Bembry, Wade Baldwin and Malachi Richardson. Kirkwood actually had plans to play college hoops at Davidson, but then he suited up in the fall and fell in love with football. The rest is history.
All about family
As a senior in high school, Kirkwood's life changed forever, and it wasn't because he put on a pair of shoulder pads.
Kirkwood became a father to his daughter, Aria. Before she was born, her biological father passed away, but Kirkwood stepped in immediately to fill the void alongside his girlfriend. Since then, Aria has been just as important in Kirkwood's life as he has been in hers. She was one of the reasons he transferred to Temple after starting his college career at Hawaii, and Kirkwood credits Aria with keeping him on the right path during his college years.