UGA still heavily recruiting state’s top LBs, despite commitments to FSU and Miami

Markuss Eligwe is Stone Mountain High School's first-ever AJC Super 11 selection (AJC photo)

Markuss Eligwe is Stone Mountain High School's first-ever AJC Super 11 selection (AJC photo)

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.’”

Will UGA succeed in flipping Markuss Eligwe, Raphael Kirby, or Dillon Lee?

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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.

Raphael Kirby committed to "The U" last May (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Raphael Kirby committed to "The U" last May (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

“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

  • Did you hear Les Miles screaming on Monday? It was because LSU beat out Auburn and Alabama for Buford OL Vadal Alexander (click on story link)
  • FLASHBACK: UGA’s recruitment of NFL rookie QB sensation Cam Newton (click on story link)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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158 comments Add your comment

BurytheBone

October 11th, 2011
5:19 am

BurytheBone

October 11th, 2011
5:34 am

Still a long way to go in the recruiting process. I think we will end up with one of the 3. Kids that make commitments early without seeing what the other schools have to offer are making a mistake. Enjoy the ride while you can. Been thru it. Wherever you end up playing doesn’t matter as much. What matters is if you end up playing. If you want to play right away work hard ,stay out of trouble and go to a school that has room on the depth chart

Mountain Dawg

October 11th, 2011
5:54 am

The Dawgs have no linebackers? Try telling the Vols that.

Destin Dawg

October 11th, 2011
6:21 am

Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large State University education…. plus Big Time Sports ” in a great college town… Athens, Ga… go Dawgs !!!

Old Dawg

October 11th, 2011
6:27 am

Come to UGA…. get coached up by pros like Todd Grantham… Ollivadotti… Lakatos… be part of the rejuvenated Junk Yard Dawgs !!!!

Destin Dawg

October 11th, 2011
6:31 am

Hey.. Bull Dawgs going up Hill in Athens !! FSU and Miami not so much lately ?

Da'Rick is 0 for 2!

October 11th, 2011
6:35 am

Am I the only fan who wants kids that WANT to be a Dawg!!! The issue with kids that look for playing time and not the school they love is that when they don’t get that early playing time they will become disgruntled. How many players have we lost in the last month due to lack of playing time. Although each of the two players discussed claim to be “committed”, they don’t seem like very sincere quotes. One of those winking while they talk kind……

Saban is a liar

October 11th, 2011
6:37 am

Bama, bought and sold nuff said!

Paddy

October 11th, 2011
6:38 am

CMR is correct. By the time these guys are ready to play there will be lots of playing time for LB’s. The 3-4 defense eats lb’s like fritos.

Saban

October 11th, 2011
6:44 am

Hope you folks keep Richt forever. Makes my job so much easier. Think another national championship is just around the corner.

Understand a re-match with Central florida is in the works if you can beat Vanderbilt. Good luck you will need it. Believe we only won by 39, that should make your game a toss up.

Destin Dawg

October 11th, 2011
6:48 am

kids that stay in State… close to support groups… friends and family… do better in school and life after sports… I had girl friends who tutored me… I was not a sports hero by the way…

James Stephenson

October 11th, 2011
6:53 am

That’s funny Saban, since you are 3-3 vs Richt and one of those were so close during your first NC at home that you should be a little worried he stays. And then the next year you got blitzed, then you ran off to the Dolphins. Then lied to everyone in Miami and ran off to Alabama. Who will you lie to next and where will you run too next? Penn State? USC?

Dawg SC

October 11th, 2011
7:00 am

Where is Tide Roll?

Raiderbeater

October 11th, 2011
7:02 am

A 4-STAR UGA FAN IS BETTER THAN A 5 STAR MIAMI/FSU KID THAT IS INDEFERENT TO WHAT UGA MEANS TO HIM!!!!!!

Saban Man

October 11th, 2011
7:04 am

WHERE IS TIDE ROLL????? THIS BLOG IS NOT OFFICIALIZED UNTIL “THE MAN” POSTS UP IN HERE. ALABAMA SUCKS BUT I ENJOY SEEING TIDE ROLL GET EVERYBODY CRUNKED UP

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

October 11th, 2011
7:18 am

[...] on Oct. 27.3. Florida State commit Dante Fowler is still looking at visiting other schools.4. Georgia hasn’t given up on the top linebackers in the state who are committed elsewhere.5. Alabama RB commit Kenyan Drake [...]

Brooksdawg

October 11th, 2011
7:24 am

I watched that Dillon Lee kid on TV a couple weeks back..great speed and a nose for the ball. Him and Josh Clemons would be awesome for the dawgs at LB, could play very quick. Vasser and Drew will really come on by the end of the year. I still dont know what Boo Malcome has done that was so bad not to warrant a few carries some time this century.GATA

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
7:29 am

“Markuss Eligwe”?

Why do you call him Markuss, when his high school lists him as Ukeme Eligwe?

dawgster

October 11th, 2011
7:41 am

At Bama (classless)Stan…Read the article again…Kirby has been to UGA, on a unofficial…He will see the dawgs again on Sat…byt the way for the record, Kirby will give the dawgs the last visit…from what I hear he could be a dawg lean at this point….
Also, hate to use the word “classless”…but forwhatever reason you feel the need to attack the dawgs for no reason…Not sure what you are so afraid of with the dawgs…Bama is obvisously better than us and most others at this point, so not sure what the attack is about…but based on all your previous posts, its shouldn’t surprise anyone….Show some class with your comments…Is it truly that hard for you to do…If so, get some help….go dawgs

Michael Carvell

October 11th, 2011
7:43 am

@The Rest of the Story, thanks for your comment. That’s the name he asked to go by.

dawgster

October 11th, 2011
7:44 am

On another note…don’t think we will turn Dillion Lee…just my opinion, but from everything he has said, he is 100% Bama…Wish I felt differently, but I think it will be difficult to turn him…but his brother being on the team could make a difference, maybe….Just appears to be a long shot…However the more he is on campus, the better our odds go up….go dawgs

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
7:53 am

@Michael Carvell

Okay. Just curious. Rivals and other publications have always referred to him as Ukeme.

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
7:59 am

@dawgster

I doubt that “Bama Stan” knows how to find Tuscaloosa on a map. He’s probably much more familiar with North Avenue.

Crap

October 11th, 2011
8:21 am

Saban, you’re quite the tide fan. Don’t even know the final of your last game. Moron.

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
8:29 am

How to discern an actual Tide fan on this blog:

1. Couldn’t care less who Georgia recruits.
2. Respects the University of Vanderbilt and the great effort that they exhibited in last Saturday’s game.

Nepotism

October 11th, 2011
8:31 am

Mike Bobo keeps his job only because he’s Vince Dooley’s nephew by marriage. What a joke of a coach.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 11th, 2011
8:36 am

If these two young, talented recruits, and others choose to come to UGA, I hope it is not only for the opportunity for early playing time, but because they want to be Dawgs!

And, if they do chose UGA, I hope they give their full devotion to being team players, and not see their college career as just a stepping-stone to the NFL.

I know that’s why most highly skilled athletes play college ball, but we need recruits that are focused on being team-players and want to be play for the University of Georgia.

Best wishes to you in your college choices, and I hope you chose to play for UGA.

Go Dawgs!

BAMA STAN

October 11th, 2011
8:40 am

13 NATIONAL TITLES – 22 SEC TITLES!!!

To the fake Bama Stan @ 5:24am – find another name – and learn to comprehend what is printed.

Kirby has visited UGA for the Coastal Carolina game – will see UGA play on an “official” visit to Vandy – and will decide whether to set up an “official” visit to UGA later – plans to enroll in January – so he is limited to see the schools on game days that are showing interest.

Again – I would appreciate it if you used another name other than mine.
If you decide to continue to use Bama Stan – please keep it classy – thanks.

As for Dillon Lee – I would be shocked if UGA were to wrestle him away from BAMA. The opportunity to play with his brother maybe a factor – but he went through the process – and is not visiting any other schools – except UGA to watch his brother.

If you can believe what you read – Dillon has reported that he is FIRM with his decision to play for Alabama and Nick Saban …….. excellent choice young man!

Rolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

JAWJeRDAWG

October 11th, 2011
8:41 am

Bama Stan

We know you take great pride in trying to demean the University of Georgia.

While you do, it makes little difference to we UGA fans.

You must live a sad, pathetic, miserable life in doing so, if that’s all the enjoyment you get out of life; and, from your classless posting, it seems it is.

BufordKing

October 11th, 2011
8:43 am

Man – we are blessed with 2 Bama Stan’s. LIfe just does not get any better!!!!!

Tide Roll

October 11th, 2011
8:43 am

I guess this is a good strategy. Hit the tanning bed and let our competition evaluate these prospects. Then try to turn them after they’ve committed elsewhere. Stone Mountain High (Linebacker prospect Eligwe/FSU), is as close or closer to UGA’s campus than Buford (Offensive line prospect Vadal Alexander/LSU), and Atlanta Westlake (Tight End prospect Cam Newton/Auburn). Any closer and the kids are in ATHENS! Then Richt and Boboo can walk down the street to evaluate them. I guess that’s what it takes for them to get on a prospect in a TIMELY MANNER! Sheesh.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 11th, 2011
8:45 am

Tide Roll

And, BAMA missed out on Cam Newton out of JUCO how?

RxDawg

October 11th, 2011
8:46 am

““Playing time,” Eligwe said. “They have no linebackers, and that’s it … the opportunity to play early.”

Ummm thanks but no thanks I say. This is exactly the type of athelete that got UGA in the funk that it is in now. Let this guy go ruin someone else’s locker room.

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
8:49 am

@JAWJeRDAWG

What makes you think that Bama “missed” Cam Newton? Florida missed him – after they had to kick him out of school. Why do you think Urban Meyer is working for ESPN, rather than watching his daughter play volleyball?

DawginLex

October 11th, 2011
8:51 am

Hey Bama Stan, you classless punk a$$ TROLL

One of your Einstein Bama brethren told me I am DILLusional.

You will have to explain that to me.

Does that mean I like pickles?

Do they serve those at Dreamland?

Achtung

October 11th, 2011
8:51 am

Georgia would be a good choice for playing time, your position coaches came from the NFL and have Georgia on the rise.

Tide Roll

October 11th, 2011
8:53 am

The State of Georgia has got to be in the top 5 nationally as far as High School talent. Combine the physical talent of these kids with the superior coaching they receive at this level, and UGA should be competing annually for a National Title, NOT losing to Middle Florida in the Liberty Bowl. Somebody ain’t working as hard as they should.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 11th, 2011
8:54 am

Just razzing Tide Roll who’s stated in the past that BAMA didn’t recruit Newton out of JUCO because ‘they thought he was a UGA lock.’

A disingenious claim from the TR if ever I’ve read one. That’ all.

RxDawg

October 11th, 2011
8:56 am

I thought the first Bama Stan didn’t really sound like the one that I remembered.
@ the real Bama Stan, thanks for coming in and clearing that up. The AJC is so full of trash posters on ever side it’s really hard to read them. It’s gotten to the point where I really don’t read a lot of the comments anymore. There are just better places to discuss football.

cdpridg

October 11th, 2011
8:56 am

My question is this….does any of these other bum schools recruit their on state?? I mean really we all know the state of Ga knows how to play some football. Like to see the bums in Tusky own live a year off some of their own in state. Is the state to poor to have quality high school programs?

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
8:56 am

@DawginLex

At the original Dreamland, you can only get ribs, sliced bread and banana pudding. I wouldn’t recommend it. They get so much traffic now that the ribs are quick-cooked. You’d be better off with a McRib sandwich.

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
8:59 am

@cdpridg

Here’s a link to Alabama’s roster: http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/alab-m-footbl-mtt.html

You’ll notice that the vast majority of their players are from the state of Alabama.

teriyaki dawg

October 11th, 2011
9:00 am

Teriyaki Dawg say take these kids to Hooters get them all messed up on wings and boobies and they will be ours……..it has worked before…..Eric Zeir is/was a huge wing/boobies guy.

Bama Stan

October 11th, 2011
9:01 am

13 NATIONAL TITLES
[b]Too bad most of them are not nationally recognized. But they are recognized by the Tuscaloosa Potato Chip Co.[/b]

Achtung

October 11th, 2011
9:01 am

Georgia is now 6th in the nation for yards allowed on defense. Bama is 2nd and LSU 3rd. Don’t look behind you, somebody might be gaining on you.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 11th, 2011
9:02 am

And before the English critics abound, I know it’s disingenuous with a u, not an i. Sorry the hurried typo.

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
9:03 am

@Bama Stan

Then only count the most recent 8 NC’s in the modern era. I don’t think that actual Tide fans will have a problem with that. Especially if you also count the SEC titles. What is it, 22 or 23?

The Rest of the Story

October 11th, 2011
9:05 am

BTW: Golden Flake does offer a pickle flavored potato chip, if you’re interested DawginLex. ;-)

DESTIN DAWG

October 11th, 2011
9:11 am

Go Dawgs… Beat Vandy !!!

1eyedJack

October 11th, 2011
9:14 am

Why would you want to eat a pickle flavored potato chip? Just eat a pickle, or just suck on it like Tide Roll and Saban.