UNC Visit Surprises Kirby

Raphael Kirby's thoughts on North Carolina drastically changed after visiting the school with his Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson teammate Darreon Herring on Saturday.

"It shocked me," Kirby said. "It really did change my perception a lot, because I didn't know Chapel Hill was really that nice. I really liked it and I know Darreon liked it. It was a great visit."

The visit surprised Kirby, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker, so much that he now lists UNC among his favorite schools.

"I have a lot of schools that stick out right now," Kirby said. "Florida is sticking out, Southern Cal, South Carolina, LSU, and North Carolina."

Florida is the frontrunner for Kirby, who has been offered by nearly two dozen schools, including all of his favorites plus Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, and Nebraska.

"When I stepped on Florida's campus, I could just feel myself being in a nice environment," Kirby said. "It just feels like Florida makes the city [of Gainesville]. The coaching staff is very cool."

Kirby says he'll "probably" make a verbal commitment in early summer.

"I'm not really rushing anything, but I've been on a lot of college visits and I think I've been on enough for the moment," Kirby said. "I'm just looking at different things and weighing my options. I'm just going to sit down and talk to my parents about what fits me and once I really figure it out I'm going to commit. I might take one or two more visits."

Of his favorites, Kirby has visited Florida, UNC, and South Carolina. He has also made trips to Alabama, Georgia, and Vanderbilt.

"I'm just taking it weekend by weekend and seeing if I can work anything in there," Kirby said. "I have spring ball coming up, so I'm really trying to focus on that. Maybe after that, I'll fit in a few more."

Heading into Saturday's visit to UNC, Kirby had a nonchalant feeling towards the Tar Heels.

"They offered both my teammate and I, and I wasn't doing much this weekend and I like to get down and see the schools that I have offers from," Kirby said. "I wanted to get down and see the campus and see if I can fit into that environment."

After spending the day in Chapel Hill, Kirby feels he can fit into UNC's environment.

"I really liked the campus a lot," Kirby said. "And what stood out the most was they had my major, which is business, and it's one of the top business schools in the nation."

The majority of Kirby's visit was spent touring UNC's campus.

"[UNC's Director of Player Personnel Marcus Berry] took us on a tour basically of the whole school," Kirby said. "It was really nice. We toured the facilities and even the basketball facilities like the museum and Michael Jordan things. We just saw the whole nine yards."

Raphael Kirby Profile

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