Dondi Kirby was spending the summer doing what all highly rated football prospects do entering their senior year. He was with his teammates, touring schools and participating in 7-on-7 games. But one wrong step, one slip on the playing field, has left Kirby with a torn ACL and without a senior season.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound defensive back from Gateway (Monroeville) High will miss the entire season after suffering the injury in late June at a 7-on-7 at the University of Michigan.
"I knew something happened, but I thought maybe it was just a sprain or something," Kirby told Chris Harlan of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
"He's obviously disappointed," Gateway head coach Terry Smith told Rivals.com's Mike Farrell. "He was ready to have a tremendous senior season. He was having a great summer to this point. He's just disappointed he won't have a chance to finish his high school career on top.
"He's seen two different doctors to get two different opinions and they both stated the same thing. He'll have surgery in a few weeks and he's out for the season."
Kirby had expressed a desire throughout the recruiting process to take his time and decide on a college after his senior season. With that season now washed out, Smith said that he expects Kirby to be able to take official visits during the fall and perhaps come to a decision by October.
Smith also said that almost a dozen college coaches who have offered Kirby a scholarship have already been in touch and intend to honor the scholarship should Kirby select their school.
Kirby, a four-star prospct, ranked 111 in the Rivals250 for the Class of 2011, and he was the 6th ranked safety. His brother, Aaron Smith, plays for the University of Pittsburgh, which was one of the first to offer a scholarship to Kirby. The latest? The University of Florida, earlier this spring. Kirby said at the time of the offer that he planned to visit the campus over the summer. Kirby had also expressed interest in visiting Georgia and Miami, and plans on using one of his five official visits with the Hurricanes.
Gateway, meanwhile, will open their season on Saturday, September 4, against Triple-A power Bishop McDevitt.