Raphael Kirby: Will UGA be able to flip commitment of Miami recruit?

Will Kirby sign with Miami?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

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.”

UGA will get their best shot at flirting with Miami LB recruit Raphael Kirby on Saturday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

UGA will get their best shot at flirting with Miami LB recruit Raphael Kirby on Saturday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

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.”

Stay tuned.

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



– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

77 comments Add your comment


September 16th, 2011
6:09 am

The “U” is in a major state of turmoil and if you are a high school linebacker looking for playing time UGA would have to be on your list. No one could be blamed for decommiting from Miami right now.

Go Dawgs!


September 16th, 2011
6:26 am

Second!! Come to UGA for a great education and a better college experience! Plus you’ll probably start next year!


September 16th, 2011
6:27 am

RomeDawg…you are right. So much could happen; loss of scollys; no bowl games; fewer practices and visits; it is a mess. I hate that it happened to Coach Golden. He deserves better.


September 16th, 2011
6:29 am

Do they have a shot? Maybe. But Florida has an inside track because of his other teammates. South Carolina does too. All he is doing is taking a look. Anyways, no one signs until Feb. 5, so all things will be decided way before then.


September 16th, 2011
6:30 am

Come on up to thug U of the north and play for another bunch of losers.

Destin Dawg

September 16th, 2011
6:43 am

Parade magazine says “” UGA #2 Large State University education… plus Big Time spots “” in a great college town.. Athens, Ga… Go Dawgs !!!

Destin Dawg

September 16th, 2011
6:44 am

Big Time Sports !! be a home State hero !!

Ramblin Man

September 16th, 2011
6:50 am

No offense UGA fans, but going with UGA right now would be scary for a recruit unless Richt starts winning quick and coastal won’t count.

Old Dawg

September 16th, 2011
6:58 am

Kids that stay in State… close to support groups… friends and family… generally do better in school… and life after sports… Go Dawgs !!


September 16th, 2011
7:56 am

I think the thing that bothers most of these haters is the fact that no matter what the situation is at uga top athletes are still interested in the program

Herschel's 4th personality

September 16th, 2011
8:07 am

Who would want to go to 0-2 UGA, ZERO WINS and TWO LOSSES!!!!
UGA will have to replace a head coach
will have an entire staff turnover
will be picked to finish in the bottom 3 of the SEC
will have a QB that has to try to play from his back
will lose every big game
will have to dress like a power ranger in uniform

Brown Dog

September 16th, 2011
8:15 am

Michael, does Dillon Lee ever say he’s reconsidering UGA?


September 16th, 2011
8:16 am

Just buy a ticket. If your committed then prove your word means something…. It’s a joke how these football players are treated… If his word and honor don’t mean anything then he belongs at UGA… I mean that’s where all the under performing 3 and 4 star athletes end up anyway… Good riddance!

Destin Dawg

September 16th, 2011
8:17 am

Just wait… we’ll be able to get Dan Mullen for O. C…. rumblings at M.S.U… if he can’t win in the S.E.C… he was out coached and lost to a mediocre Auburn team… . not really in the L.S.U. game… he has some tough games coming…


September 16th, 2011
8:21 am

Let’s see… a couple of weeks ago it was Davis being shaky on UF – he isn’t. Then it was Lee being shaky on UA – he isn’t. Now it’s Kirby. What’s next week Jenkins shaky on Stanford?

You’re as repetitive as this guy:

“Destin Dawg

Parade magazine says “” UGA #2 Large State University education… plus Big Time spots “” in a great college town.. Athens, Ga… Go Dawgs !!!”

BTW, “Big Time spots” ? – must have meant “big time spo…ts”

Michael Carvell

September 16th, 2011
8:22 am

@NoGaGator, thanks for your comment. Any time you have kid committed to one school and he is still visiting other schools, there is ALWAYS the possibility that the kid will switch schools. It happens all the time in recruiting. It may or may not happen with Dillon Lee or Mike Davis, but it will happen this year with some high-profile recruit or two or three or more before February’s National Signing Day. Why do other colleges continue to recruit kids committed to other colleges? Because they can flip a few, and they do every year.

Troll Power Ratings

September 16th, 2011
8:24 am

@Ramblin Man: Georgia, with or without Richt, is going to get the ship righted quickly and soon. Recruits know this. Worst case, Richt gets fired and it costs Georgia a few recruits this year, but the cupboard is far from bare and Georgia has an AD that is engaged and motivated. Ms. State looked pretty stout last night. Richt has plenty of opportunity to earn an extension – or not in the next 3 months. I think we’ll know in a month.


September 16th, 2011
8:26 am

You should win the Coastal game Troll…. Not sure I would take the points…. :)


September 16th, 2011
8:29 am

Meh, neither program is wowing anyone these days, however even with Miami’s 7-5 season last year, they still put 11 kids in the NFL. He should stick with the Canes, he at least has a shot at the next level if that’s what his goal is.


September 16th, 2011
8:32 am


Is not your comment about UGA is so thin that an Alabama linebacker recruit is now looking at the Bulldogs misleading.

I mean come on …Lee said he was a solid Bama commit and was basically going to the game to to be see his brother play. Really he said it was no big deal, and that BAMA had nothing to worry about and he was going to BAMA.

Delbert D.

September 16th, 2011
8:34 am

I’m seriously considering committing to Faulkner to try to beat out that other old placekicker. If that can get me passes to some SEC games, that will be worth the effort of getting back in shape.


September 16th, 2011
9:04 am


If you’re new to the site, you’ll quickly learn that Carvell is simply in the pot stirring business. He really likes bemoaning points about UGA’s depth, if a kid says UGA was late (which is usually a crap excuse by the kid; an offer is an offer), and using his twitter handle to say things like “The Falcons might be worse that UGA” during the game last Sunday and making comments about the greatness that is Cam Newton after 1 NFL game against a terrible pass defense in a weekend when half the QBs in the league threw for 300+ yards. It’s all about stirring the pot and increasing blog hits. That’s the name of the game these days.


September 16th, 2011
9:08 am

M. Carvell,

I think you hit it right on the head there. UGA now has a glaring need for LB’s and will have it again next year. Recruits now see an opportunity for playing time so UGA gets back into the hunt again. Still a lot depends on how well they do this year, so I hope they show the same amount of energy they showed against SC and they will be able to attract a few of these kids that were seemingly set in their choices a few months ago. It would be nice to have that happen and quiet some of the nathsayers who think UGA can’t recruit or adjust as needs suddenly pop up. One thing seems a constant in college football. A few injuries here and there and the whole landscape changes for a team as far as needs go.


headley lamar

September 16th, 2011
9:12 am

Kids that stay in State… close to support groups… friends and family… get booed by their own “fans”… finish games in stadium that is 90% empty… get trashed on message boards by their bandwagon fans…


September 16th, 2011
9:17 am


It must keep you awake at nights, knowing your team is not able to beat, this poor institute that represents the State of Georgia as it’s flagship school. You need to hope that your team is even a blip on the radar for UGA anymore. UGA has whipped you so many times, football fans in Georgia do not even consider it a rivalry anymore. Your team has been relegated to the status of just another game.



September 16th, 2011
9:19 am

Go to UGA and play in from of 90,000+ per game, go to the ACC and play in front of 40,000+ per game. Play at UGA and be a home town hero. Play at Miami and never be heard from again (probation).


September 16th, 2011
9:20 am

Georgia is in a good position to retain and attract top recruits even with the uncertainty surrounding CMR’s future. With local talent, they’ll always be the home state university and with the resources at their disposal, they’ll always know that Greg McGarity will be able to attract top flight coaches should a change be made. The only thing you can’t predict would be if the new administration brings a schematic change along with him. Even so, from a LB recruit’s perspective, that’s more of a concern for offense than defense.

ATL Sports Fan

September 16th, 2011
9:23 am

Ramblin Man! If the win versus Coastal doesn’t count in your eyes, I guess you Tech fans shouldn’t count the wins over Western Carolina, and especially MTSU.

UGA’s first two opponets combined record 2010 through 2011- 21-6
Tech’s first two opponets combined record 2010 through 2011- 9-19

You tell me who has played the tougher schedule so far!


September 16th, 2011
9:23 am

Agree about that Bama LB recruit bjohndawg. Anybody who read the article previously knows the score there. That was an unecessarily provocative way of getting page clicks.

Da Truth

September 16th, 2011
9:27 am

Nice spin on the BAma LB to GA headline. You are pathetic. The Lee kid even says” I am solid to Alabama”. Quit trying to persuade these kids and report the facts!!!!!!


September 16th, 2011
9:30 am

i really hope we are still talking to K. Tuerene–changed JCs so sounds like we lost him


September 16th, 2011
9:36 am

McDawg, I thought I read something the other day that Turene said that he was still solid Georgia and looked forward to enrolling as soon as possible. Don’t know why he changed prep schools but I’m not certain why that would play a big factor in his future plans.

Michael Carvell

September 16th, 2011
9:42 am

I talked to Kent Turene a few days ago. He is enrolled at Atlanta Sports Academy (prep school) in Dawsonville, Ga. He said some other colleges were trying to talk to him but that he was still committed to UGA.


September 16th, 2011
9:44 am

1-GEORGIA is a combined 0-5 against Top 25 teams in 2010 and 2011
2- GEORGIA has lost 10 of its last 12 against ranked teams. (2-10 record)
3- GEORGIA is now 14-14 in his last 28 games
4-GEORGIA is 6-10 in the past 16 SEC games.
5- GEORGIA is 2-5 in their last 7 games going back to last season
6- REMAINING SCHEDULE. Games they will probably lose: 1- Miss St. 2- Tenn 3-Florida 4-Auburn. Games we should win (if we don’t have an off week): 1- Costal Carolina, 2-Miss, 3- Kentucky, 4- New Mexico, 5-Tech, 6-Vandy.
7- It’s been 30 yrs since our last national championship…. Can Richt get us there? Are we trending in the right direction?

THis time period is the best time to guage UGA

September 16th, 2011
9:58 am

Not much in 09, 2010 and so far into 2011 BUT BIG TIME kids still consider UGA.

With all of the haters …………….here is what just causes them to lose sleep about UGA:

BRAND AWARNESS, “ONE OF THE VEY TOP DESTINATIONS FOR TOP COACHES, LIKE URBAN MEYER” said ESPN and Atlanta’s 60 Fan on Tuesday. Excellent educational opps abound and oh, the ladies in their red or black sundresses come game day.

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Dogs.

UGA class of 71 & 73


September 16th, 2011
10:08 am

McDawg and GeoffDawg,

Turene is still solid to UGA. He is actually listed with the commitments on UGASports, a site actually invested in reporting on recruiting (more so than a free blog). Kent is currently enrolled at the Atlanta Sports Academy in Dawsonville, GA. Barring any major changes, KT will be a part of UGA’s 2012 signing class.

Ramblin Man

September 16th, 2011
10:21 am

I never said GT’s first games counted for anything. In fact other than playing time and wins towards a bowl game they don’t mean much to me. I simply mean that in the grand scheme of things a win over Coastal fixes nothing for UGA as a whole and does nothing to save Richt if UGA is thinking to replace him.
I am simply saying that if I was a recruit I would have to weigh the fact that UGA could be looking at a coaching change and you have to look at it as how it will effect you. I have no doubt if Richt is fired UGA can and will bring in a top name coach and recruiting will remain in the top 10, but what schemes will be used and how will it help or hinder ones playing time should be considered if you are smart.

Really Haters???

September 16th, 2011
10:27 am

I mean Really!!

Ramblin Man

September 16th, 2011
10:35 am

I will agree that the GT/UGA rivalry is lopsided at best, but to say UGA and it’s fans just count it as a game makes me laugh. A great deal of UGA fans spend a great deal of thier time on GT blogs telling us how great UGA is while UGA had to get by GT just to get a bowl game last season and to keep from being 7-6 in 09. I would also say that if you consider whipping a team is winning by a single score with all your starters in when athlete wise one team is clearly over matched then that could be UGAs problem with competing in the SEC.

Jacket Man

September 16th, 2011
10:42 am

No question as to whether Raphael was also speaking to GA Tech? Curious… :)

Jacket Man

September 16th, 2011
10:43 am

Ramblin Man

September 16th, 2011
10:58 am

Jacket Man,
GT never offered him to begin with. Not sure why since GT did go after a few LBs, he just was not one of them.

Peach Picker

September 16th, 2011
11:10 am

Why not try Jay Rome at linebacker? Where’s Ray Drew?


September 16th, 2011
11:24 am

Mullen would fit right in with the program.
0 – 3 this year
1 – 10 against SEC West opponents last three years.
One dimensional offense.

What about the rumor, BoBo to Kennesaw as HC?

Dalton Dawg

September 16th, 2011
11:25 am


Scout.com shows Kent Turene as a commit within the last week. He confirmed his commitment this week and now shows as a commit for the 2012 recruiting class


September 16th, 2011
11:27 am

that is good news on Turene

Dalton Dawg

September 16th, 2011
11:51 am


My bad actally it’s Rivals.com that shows Kent Turene as a new commit and not Scout just viewed.


September 16th, 2011
11:55 am





September 16th, 2011
11:58 am

Initially, I voted “no”, but then I remembered how much trouble Miami was in. The Dawgs indeed have a chance.


September 16th, 2011
12:22 pm

@ Ramblin: While you make some valid points when discussing the close score between our two teams, you’re missing the big picture. PJ’s offense presents teams with a problem, not because of its sophistication, but because only GT and the service academy’s run it. Other teams don’t prepare for the high school run offense because they don’t usually see it. This offense would be dismal at best if you tried to run it with the spped of the SEC defenses (especially if they prepared for it weekly). This comment is further supported by the lack of success you have enjoyed in bowl games; provide a team with a few weeks to get ready for this offense and it usually equates to problems for GT’s execution.