Kirkpatrick played his final three high school seasons at Gadsden City (35 games) and finished his career with 193 tackles, 17 interceptions, three returned for a touchdown, 36 pass breakups, two sacks, one punt return touchdown, one kick return touchdown and one receiving touchdown. After completion of his senior season he was awarded as the ASWA 6A back of the year as well as a first team all-state defensive back for the second consecutive year.
Entering February 2009, Dre Kirkpatrick was one of the most highly rated and sought after high school football recruits in the country, having been awarded a 5 star rating (the maximum) by national recruiting outlets Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Kirkpatrick was selected 17th overall in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. On May 18, 2012 he signed a 4 year $8,600,000 contract with the Bengals which includes a $4.7 million signing bonus.