UGA is still heavily recruiting two of the state’s top prospects at linebacker, even though they are committed to other schools.
Markuss Eligwe, the first-ever AJC Super 11 selection from Stone Mountain High School, has been committed to Florida State since last spring but said he will take an official visit to UGA and possibly Florida. The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Eligwe is a candidate to be the state’s No. 1 overall prospect.
Raphael Kirby of Stephenson High School is a longtime Miami commitment but re-opened communications with other schools after massive allegations of NCAA rules violations surrounded the Hurricanes. Kirby announced he will take official visits to Vanderbilt (Saturday), Miami (Oct. 22), Florida (Nov. 5) and South Carolina (Nov. 19), along with deciding between UGA and Southern California for his fifth and final recruiting trip later this week.
Both Eligwe and Kirby are interested in UGA for one primary reason – and it’s not playing for the home state school or in the SEC.
“Playing time,” Eligwe said. “They have no linebackers, and that’s it … the opportunity to play early. They need linebackers. When I talk to [Mark Richt] or [UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner], they both say the same thing: ‘We need you because we really, really need linebackers.’”
Garner scouted Eligwe in person at a Stone Mountain game a couple of weeks ago, and Eligwe made an unofficial visit to UGA for the South Carolina game. Eligwe is in the process of setting up a recruiting trip to UGA for November or December.
What about FSU? “I’m 100-percent committed to Florida State, and I’m ready to get there,” Eligwe said. “They know I’m going to take one or two visits to other schools to have something to compare with Florida State, and they’re fine with it. They’re not worried.”
Eligwe chats with Florida State assistant Demeyune Craig (the former Auburn QB) every other day, and he maintains high expectations for the Seminoles after last week’s stunning upset loss to Wake Forest. “It was interceptions and turnovers, an all-around poor performance. Hey, we need to get it back together and we’ll be straight.”
Meanwhile, Kirby will make a decision about a recruiting trip to UGA later this week but already made an unofficial visit with the Bulldogs for the Coastal Carolina game. “Their depth at linebacker is definitely looking good in my favor.”
Kirby will also see UGA play in person this week – while making an official visit to Vanderbilt. Kirby has scheduled all of his trips within the next six weeks because he plans to enroll early in college in January.
“Basically, these are all the schools that want me the most,” Kirby said. “I want to get over there, look into things about the team and the university as a whole, and then narrow it down some more after my visits.”
What about Miami? “I’m still committed,” Kirby said. “As of now, that is the school I will be attending. They know I am visiting other schools and they haven’t said anything about it.”
UGA also is heavily recruiting Buford linebacker Dillon Lee, the AJC Super 11 member who is committed to Alabama. Lee has been making visits to UGA games this season because his older brother starts on the offensive line for the Bulldogs.
DAY’S OTHER TOP STORIES
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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.