After being what many believed was a Florida "lock," Stephenson (Stone Mountain, GA) linebacker Raphael Kirby committed to Miami on Tuesday. If you believed the rumors that started to surface midday, you are not surprised about Kirby's decision to join the Hurricanes 2012 recruiting class. But if you believed everything else you have heard over the past few days, this one may come as a bit of a shock.
Kirby was believed to be joining high school teammates Mike Davis and JaFar Mann with the Gators. It was said to be a heavy lean, though this may be just another example that you should not believe anything until it actually happens in the recruiting world.
Just last week, we were to believe Noor Davis was down to Florida and Notre Dame. Nope! Stanford it is. Most Gators fans probably thought Kirby was in the bag. Nope! To the Canes. Even after announcing a top three of Miami, Florida, and Auburn, good money was still on the Gators. Be happy that money is still in your pocket.
Miami's gain (at the moment) is Florida's loss. Linebacker is a position the Gators could definitely use depth at in the future. We have yet to see what the position will truly become under the new coaching staff, but we do know what we saw in 2010. It is sure to be a position that will be heavily recruited during this entire cycle and the loss of Kirby is a bit of a blow.
As is the norm with these types of announcements, be aware of the time of year. Kirby is by no means a Hurricane. That said, those currently committed to Florida are not Gators yet either. There is plenty of time for things to happen and minds to change. Therefore, those committed to Florida will still be recruited, those uncommitted will still be recruited, and those committed elsewhere will still be recruited. With Davis looking west and Kirby south, the Gators will continue to recruit everywhere. Who is next?