Will UGA be able to flip the commitment of Miami LB recruit Raphael Kirby?
The Bulldogs have a chance.
The 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker from Stephenson High School will make an unofficial visit to UGA for Saturday’s game against Coastal Carolina.
Kirby made the decision to take the last-minute recruiting trip after talking with UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner on Thursday night.
“We had a long conversation and Coach Garner said he wanted me to come up for a visit soon; I told him that I’m not really doing anything this weekend, so I’m going on Saturday,” Kirby told the AJC.
“Georgia is one of the schools recruiting me the hardest. They let it be known that they are excited that I am coming to visit. And I’m excited to go on the visit and have a good time watching college football.”
It is a surprising turn of events in the relationship between UGA and Kirby. When the star linebacker committed to Miami last spring, he didn’t even list the Bulldogs in his top five because “[UGA] didn’t recruit me as hard as other schools.”
What has changed? What is behind Kirby’s sudden attraction to UGA? “It’s my hometown school, not far from home. I’m not doing anything this weekend. It’s about 45 minutes from home. I just want to go and talk with the coaches, chill with the players, and have a good time.”
Then there’s UGA’s alarming lack of depth at the linebacker positions. The Bulldogs are so thin that they had to move a safety to linebacker for Saturday’s game. UGA is so thin that an Alabama linebacker recruit is now looking at the Bulldogs.
Then there’s the ongoing NCAA investigation at Miami, which is what caused Kirby to open the lines of communication again with other schools.
“I mean, yes, I know Georgia is playing some younger guys at linebacker,” Kirby said. “I’m still committed to Miami. That hasn’t changed. But Georgia is just a hometown school on the rise.” After pausing for a few seconds, Kirby added, “Their depth at linebacker is definitely looking good in my favor.”
South Carolina and Vanderbilt are also hot and heavy after Kirby.
What about the Miami fans worried about Kirby switching his commitment to UGA? “I’m still committed there,” Kirby said. “I’m just going to visit UGA for a game. It’s nothing against Miami. I’m just going to have a good time and watch a little football.”
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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