Donnavan Kirk heads to DePaul

Updated: January 7, 2011, 6:01 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Former Miami redshirt freshman forward Donnavan Kirk confirmed Friday that he has transferred to DePaul and will begin classes and practicing with the Blue Demons Monday.

Before departing Miami, the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Kirk played in the Hurricanes' first 13 games and averaged 2.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 9.5 minutes this season. Kirk said he left Miami to be closer to home and his ill grandfather in Detroit.

Coming out of high school, Kirk was ranked No. 88 in the Class of 2009 and the No. 28 power forward in the ESPNU 100.

Kirk chose DePaul over Central Michigan, Northwestern and Oakland. He will be eligible in November because DePaul's academic calendar uses quarters, not semesters.

Kirk was attracted to the Blue Demons because of DePaul coach Oliver Purnell and his up-tempo system. In Kirk's opinion, it's a perfect match.

"Coach Purnell is the type of coach who likes to press and get up and down the court and play attack," Kirk said. "That's my style of play. I know I can be successful in that type of system. I can get up and down the court, run the floor, defend, score inside and out."

ESPN recruiting coordinator Reggie Rankin agreed.

"He's a long athlete that fits the Blue Demons' style of play with his length, mobility and ability to finish, in addition to being very effective in the press," Rankin said. "As a program builder, Oliver Purnell has added another nice piece to the building process."

Part of DePaul's pitch to Kirk was his opportunity to flourish in the system, but it also sold him on the Blue Demons' vision of where the program can go. DePaul has won one Big East game in the last three seasons.

"I'm very optimistic about the program," Kirk said. "I know they're going to turn it around. The program is going to be fine. Coach Purnell is now here. [The losing] was under someone else. Now, it's time to get going."

Kirk will know someone when he arrives at DePaul. Blue Demons strength and conditioning coach Mac Calloway worked with Kirk last season at Miami.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.