Stephenson LB Raphael Kirby remains committed to Miami, for now

Raphael Kirby committed to "The U" at Stephenson's spring practice (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Raphael Kirby committed to "The U" at Stephenson's spring practice (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

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Stephenson High School LB Raphael Kirby remains committed to Miami, despite reports that the Hurricanes broke numerous NCAA rules.

“Right now, it’s just allegations … but it shocked me, and it shocked a lot of people,” Kirby told the AJC. “Right now, I’m still committed to Miami, so I’m taking it day by day. But I do know about everything that is going down there.”

Kirby said he talked with Miami assistant Terry Richardson at length: “We discussed the whole situation, what went down and how things transpired. He basically told ’since it’s Miami, the NCAA is going to investigate hard. And time will tell.’ He didn’t really know what was going to happen. As you know, it’s a new coaching staff, and all that stuff had to do with the previous coaching staff. But it’s still the university as a whole. There’s nothing much you can really say about it now. In my heart, I’m being really positive right now. Nothing is really proven yet. I’m going to see what happens.”

Unlike the NCAA, however, it hasn’t taken any time for other schools to let Kirby how that they have a spot for him if he de-commits from Miami. At least 10 schools — including Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Virginia Tech — have contacted Kirby or his coaches within the last 24 hours.

“There’s a lot going on with other colleges,” Kirby said. “I’m aware of it. I’m not surprised by it.”

The 6-foot, 210-pound Kirby is one of Georgia’s top college football prospects. He is one of 11 Stephenson seniors committed to D1 football programs.

Which college may have inside position on Kirby if he de-commits? It appears to be Florida, which was the runner-up when Kirby committed to Miami in May, with LSU and North Carolina tied for third. Two of Kirby’s Stephenson teammates, RB Mike Davis and DT Jafar Mann, are also committed to the Florida Gators. Once upon a time, Kirby was a top UGA target at linebacker.

Raphael Kirby remains committed to Miami but (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Miami commit Raphael Kirby may visit other schools, including Florida (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

“I may take some other official visits; I haven’t really thought about but I should know soon,” Kirby said. What about a trip to the Florida Gators? “I may. Who knows?”

RELATED: Miami was dropped off the shortlist of Woodward Academy defensive tackle Jordan Watkins, who narrowed down UGA, Florida and Stanford on Wednesday. “It’s those three because they are all great schools athletically and academically,” Watkins told the AJC. “That helped them stand out among the top eight. Of course, with some of the other schools dealing with NCAA allegations (Miami), that made it a little easier to get to three.” Other schools scratched off Watkins’ list were Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. (Click on story link)

Meanwhile, Buford High School tight end Kurt Frietag has Miami listed among his four finalists, along with Alabama, Florida and Florida State. When asked if he was still considering Miami on Wednesday night, Frietag said “Not as much.” However,  Freitag said Miami remains one of his finalists. Even before the NCAA allegations, the Hurricanes were considered a longshot for Frietag, who will make his college decision on Sept. 9. His teammate and good friend, Buford LB Dillon Lee, is committed to Alabama.

TODAY’S OTHER BREAKING NEWS

WE’VE MOVED!!! Visit the AJC’s NEW Recruiting page by clicking here or going to ajc.com/sports/recruiting

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TOP 10 FOOTBALL RECRUITING STORIES

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    Norcross High School WR Jason Croom will decide between Tennessee and Mississippi State on Thursday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

    Norcross High School WR Jason Croom will decide between Tennessee and Mississippi State on Thursday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

  • Central Gwinnett LB Trey Johnson selects Auburn over Florida, FSU, others (click on story link)
  • Nation’s No. 1 RB will make official visit to UGA (click on story link)
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  • UGA’s QB of the future: Yet to start in high school, ready to prove scouts are right (click on story link)
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  • Have you seen this VIDEO?? Milton’s Shaquille Johnson is a YouTube celebrity with his prolific DUNKS. See what everybody is talking about by going here

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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55 comments Add your comment

JAWJeRDAWG

August 17th, 2011
7:35 pm

If I were, Raphael Kirby, I’d certainly take the wait-and-see approach before giving them my signature! .. Go Dawgs!

JAWJeRDAWG

August 17th, 2011
7:43 pm

And, Michael, for those of us who can’t always remember a player’s physical stats (and I may be the only one who can’t), if you have time and the information at hand, it would be nice to be reminded of their height / weight in your post.

Just a thought. Thanks. .. Go Dawgs!

Ryan

August 17th, 2011
8:37 pm

Raphael’s inability to learn how to wear a hat does not bid well for his learning the playbook. Steer clear, UGA. Steer clear.

Paddy

August 17th, 2011
9:01 pm

ryan…..he will look different with a helmet!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 17th, 2011
9:14 pm

I dare say by October her will have re-opened his recruitment. Listen to Al Golden today, he new how serious these charges where. I bet he was at Temple about right now.

Bear

August 17th, 2011
9:18 pm

He looks a nice young thug, I mean man.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 17th, 2011
9:20 pm

Two of th esix posts alluding to the way he wears his hat and calling him a thug. Good job guys, you should be so proud.

Beast from the East

August 17th, 2011
9:28 pm

Lowcountry,
I agree. Doesn’t make him a thug…..it’s just the style for young kids these days. My next door neighbor’s kid wore baggy pants and a straight billed hat turned sideways. He’s attending Yale this year. Hardly a thug……just a kid!

Energy Vampire in Need of a Life

August 17th, 2011
9:37 pm

Hey I forgot since it was reported last week and the several weeks before that. How many D-1 recruits does Stephenson have on it’s team?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 17th, 2011
9:40 pm

Yep Beast. What was the style in the 60’s? 70’s? 80’s? It is just funny how intolerant some can be and prefer to take a pot shot at a kid who has a great future ahead of himself. Easier to be a naysayer than actually look and see how bright the kids future can be.

Dawg

August 17th, 2011
9:49 pm

UGA needs to go after the Kirby kid HARD…..he’s got great grades based on his pre-season All-Academic team (which were earned at Parkview, since that’s where he’s been for the last 3 years) and he’s a stud LB. Great fit for an inside backer in their 3-4 scheme.

GTBob

August 17th, 2011
9:55 pm

He is probably upset that he wasn’t born 3 years earlier. Miami is going to be alot more boring then it used to be.

GTFan478

August 17th, 2011
9:57 pm

I gotta take my hat off to this young man if he does stay committed to Miami. If he does jump ship (whick I’m sure he will) can’t say I’d blame em.

Bob Loblaw

August 17th, 2011
10:04 pm

Great pic! Da U lives on…

TampaGator

August 17th, 2011
10:13 pm

How would you like to be Golden at Miami right now. I am sure Addazio would hire him back at Temple……as he will need help understanding how to run an effective offense.

TampaGator

August 17th, 2011
10:21 pm

Raphael…….

Come visit THE SWAMP this year…..and see a team with a promising present….and an even brighter future under Muschamp and staff. And you can wear your hat anyway you desire without cultural bias from us Gator fans. And we know how academically gifted you are as well and how you wear your hat has no relationship to that.

[...] Fallout from “The U” – Miami’s recruiting targets in GA react to NCAA allegations (click on story link) [...]

OneOnOneWith TheGreatOne

August 17th, 2011
10:45 pm

Raphael seem to wear his hat pretty well to me. His helmet is even a better fit when it’s smashed against another body. He will do very well. I think at the end of the season Raphael will weigh his options look at the sanactions and make a solid decision with his parents.

[...] Fallout at The U: Reaction from Miami recruiting targets in GA (click on story link) [...]

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 17th, 2011
10:56 pm

TampaGator
If I were Al Golden I would be seriously PO’d at my President and AD about now. He was hired in December, the NCAA has been investigating the U since at least April, Yahoo Sports has been investigating the program and talking to Shapiro since September 2010 and Golden only just found out about the problems. Golden’s best strategy is to hang in there, be professional and wait for JoePa to retire so that he can return to his alma mater.

Copy editor

August 17th, 2011
11:14 pm

Sooooo, the article states that Florida was the runner-up when Kirby committed to Miami in May, with LSU and Miami (AGAIN?) tied for third. Two of Kirby’s Stephenson teammates are also committed to the Florida Gates. GATES? …. Just because the AJC is covering HS kids, this blogger shouldn’t write like one. Tighten up, man.

Dekalb Fan

August 18th, 2011
2:07 am

Enter your comments here

slydog

August 18th, 2011
6:45 am

I smell a UGA pick up. After this mess, his family want him to stay close in case something fff’ed up happens.

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

August 18th, 2011
7:39 am

[...] sticking with his commitment to Arkansas.4. Linebacker Raphael Kirby is still committed to Miami. Will he stay that way?5. Here’s an update on Miami’s class from ESPN’s Corey Long.6. One of the [...]

dap01

August 18th, 2011
8:19 am

Did Kirby like UGA before committing to Miami?

Destin Dawg

August 18th, 2011
8:27 am

Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large state university education, plus bigtime sports ” in a great college town.. Athens, Ga… kids that stay in state… close to support groups… friends and family… do better in scholl and life after foot ball…… go Dawgs !!

Destin Dawg

August 18th, 2011
8:28 am

school.. to much coffee

slydog

August 18th, 2011
8:38 am

Sorry fellas. I do not feel one drop of sympathy or empathy for Al Golden. He is 41 yrs old and he will be paid a few million dollars by U of Miami. He and his family will land on solid ground no matter where he goes from here. Yeah, sure, he was mislead, but what about those kids? And you know what section of this country where most of them came from. I’m not saying they were a bunch of little angels. But what is an 18-22 yr old to do when much older, seemingly more responsible and stable adults are directing and telling them what to do? Now these guys have to figure out: Where do we go from here? Will it be much harder for them to change gears and uproot themselves than Al Golden? You bet your life. Everything changes for them. This just 9 months after Randy Shannon was fired. These adults keep hurting and exploiting these kids and some continue to say a scholarship is a fair deal. Most of these kids can barely talk in an interview.

DawginLex

August 18th, 2011
8:42 am

The fallout from all of this is just starting.

Feel sorry for Coach Golden. Not his fault

slydog

August 18th, 2011
8:46 am

The hat comment was not about his choice to wear it a certain way; It was a blatant attack on this young man’s intellect. If someone called you a racist, I bet you would feel insulted and feel it had no basis. Same as a hat and someone’s intellect.

AnnapolisDawg

August 18th, 2011
9:12 am

@ slydog: Excellent post! It’s too bad that some people feel the need to atack an individual based on a photo when they know nothing about the young man’s character. Good luck to this young man and I am pleased that the issues at Miami are coming to light now rather than after he signs his LOI.

With that said, I hope CMR is one of the coaches that has contacted him within the last 24 hours!!!

slydog

August 18th, 2011
9:25 am

@AnnapolisDawg Heck for all we know, Golden could be a HC candidate at UGA by season’s end. Not hatin just sayin.

80 Dawg

August 18th, 2011
9:39 am

This whole Miami scandal is just the tip of the iceberg, watch out other scools in Fla. and throughout the southeast

80 Dawg

August 18th, 2011
9:45 am

7576DAWG

August 18th, 2011
9:56 am

As much trouble as North Carolina players got into dealing with people out of Miami there was no way the players at the university of Miami wasn’t getting something from somebody. I think it is so bad that Miami will get the death penalty. It will be years before Miami will get a chance to rebuild and start over.
The only thing that could save Miami from getting the death penalty will be the political pull their President has with higher up’s in Washington.

[...] Fallout at The U: Reaction from Miami recruiting targets in GA (click on story link) [...]

Dekalb Fan

August 18th, 2011
10:14 am

The U is Dead!

Bob Loblaw

August 18th, 2011
12:20 pm

Cash, yachts, prostitutes… Does Kirby’s parents know about this? There is no way my parents would have let me go there as an 18 year old.
DA U, DA U, DA U is on fire…

DAWG MAN

August 18th, 2011
2:45 pm

sure he’s a future med school student!!

charlie sheen

August 18th, 2011
3:00 pm

I wear my hat like that also…..so what’s the big deal? The girls like it

[...] Fallout at The U: Reaction from Miami recruiting targets in GA (click on story link) [...]

Joe Paterno

August 18th, 2011
5:03 pm

Here’s my 2 cents on this whole Miami thing…

Oops, let me go change my pants. I’ll be back to finish my post in a few minutes.

Paddy

August 18th, 2011
5:54 pm

7576Dawg….my guess the politicos in Washington DC will steer clear of this mess. They can’t be caught on the wrong side of this issue. Donna S. has no more clout in DC anymore than Bugs Bunny does. She is yesterday’s newspaper. Like it or not the NCAA will handle this with no pressure from outside influences. Way too hot with no political upside.

Cane Code

August 18th, 2011
7:15 pm

Of course, he is keeping his committment with da U. Otherwise, he would have to pay back all the money he received.

Rabun Dawg

August 18th, 2011
9:13 pm

The U will follow SMU to the graveyard!

[...] but it shocked me, and it shocked a lot of people,” Stone Mountain (Ga.) linebacker Raphel Kirby told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Right now, I’m still committed to Miami, so I’m taking it day by day. But I do know about [...]

jag mom

August 19th, 2011
6:00 pm

@Bear-

Clearly, you DONT know this young man because he is a GREAT STUDENT-ATHELETE. As you can see, the word student is first.He performs well in class room and on the field.

Stop acting like a jackass! Your true color is showing!

Go Jags!!

[...] Fallout at The U: Reaction from Miami recruiting targets in GA (click on story link) [...]

[...] Fallout at The U: Reaction from Miami recruiting targets in GA (click on story link) [...]

[...] Fallout at The U: Reaction from Miami recruiting targets in GA (click on story link) [...]