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Miami Football 2015 Player Profile: Raphael Kirby

In an effort to keep even the most hardcore Miami fan up to date on their favorite players, SOTU will be running a Player Profile series. In these posts, our writers will profile players from each position that they think should get more face time. They will recap their previous year, or in some cases, preview what may be to come. That way, when the season get's here, you hopefully will have a new found love for the team on the field.

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Raphael Kirby

Senior - LB - 6'1 235 - Stone Mountain, Ga.

Easily had his best season as a Hurricane last year with 54 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 2 INTs, and 2 forced fumbles.

Started all 14 games at OLB last season, but is battling Juwon Young for the starting ILB job this season.

Among his strengths is dropping back in coverage, and getting his hands on the ball:

But if he is the starting MLB, can he do more of this?

Summary: Kirby is definitely one of UM's best returning defenders. My hunch is that the larger-framed Juwon Young wins the inside LB job and Kirby stays at his more natural OLB spot.  He really does an excellent job of getting back into passing lanes.  He's a solid tackler as well. And is pretty sturdy at the point of attack, although on occasion he takes bad angles and misses tackles. Nitpicking aside, Miami really needs Kirby to be a big time play maker and a leader in 2015.  Anything less than 60-80 tackles, 3-4 turnovers forced, and general solid play at the point of attack would be very disappointing.  If he starts at MLB, he may need to do even more than that.

Stay tuned for more player profiles from SOTU as we count down to kick off.