#46 Jayd Kirby
True Senior | 6-2 | 220 lbs. | Blooming Grove, Texas
- Position: Linebacker
- Previous College: Navarro College
- Projection: Starter
- Status: On Scholarship
Jayd T. Kirby (b. May 28, 1995) is a former community college transfer who has shined on special teams during his two seasons in Manhattan. He will continue work on the specialty units this season while competing for more playing time at linebacker.
While I think Sam Sizelove and Trent Tanking will get most of the linebacker work, Kirby likely is the best choice to start alongside them in a conventional 4-3 alignment.
He played under head coach Gary Grubbs at Blooming Grove High School, where he earned All-District 6-2A honors as both a quarterback and safety during his junior and senior seasons.
Kirby then played one year under head coach Brian Mayper at Navarro College, where he helped to lead the Bulldogs to a 7-3 record and a No. 14 national ranking in the final National Junior College Athletic Association poll.
He earned first-team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference honors after finishing the year with 70 tackles, 10 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Kirby recorded a season-best 11 tackles and three sacks against Cisco, while he had two sacks apiece against Kilgore and Blinn, and came away with nine tackles, one sack and a forced fumble against Arkansas Baptist.
One year into his junior college career, he learned he was able to transfer immediately to a Football Bowl Subdivision institution and then spurned a scholarship offer from the Kansas Jayhawks that year to play for their hated rival instead. Quality troll!
Kirby played in 11 games in 2015, totaling eight special teams tackles — all coming on kickoff coverage. He set a season high with three tackles at UTSA, while he recovered a fumble on a kickoff against Louisiana Tech.
Kirby also had tackles that season against TCU, Texas, Baylor and Kansas, as well as in the 2016 AutoZone Liberty Bowl against Arkansas.
He played in all 13 games last year, primarily on special teams; totaled three tackles on kickoff coverage; and blocked punts against Missouri State and Oklahoma State.
Kirby tied for fifth nationally in blocked kicks, recording the most blocked punts by a Wildcat since Courtney Herndon also had two in 2008. He also recovered an onside kick in the season opener at Stanford and was named second-team Academic All-Big 12.