Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Robert Nkemdiche set to sign
By Kipp Adams
The stage is set. In 24 hours, Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) will announce his decision to sign with either Florida, LSU or Ole Miss, giving one lucky Southeastern Conference program the No. 1 prospect in the country for the 2013 class.
Nkemdiche told ESPN Monday night that he would know his choice Tuesday night, and his family is looking forward to the end the recruiting process, one that has brought a lot of attention to the 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end.
After back-to-back seasons with 18 sacks, Nkemdiche emerged as the No. 1 prospect heading into his senior season. Last June, Nkemdiche committed to Clemson, but did so without his parents’ knowledge or consent. His mother Beverly Nkemdiche made stinging comment’s to ESPN the Magazine’s Zach Schonbrun in Sept. that put the Tigers’ chances of retaining the five-star prospect in doubt.
"His decision is not final," Beverly said. "He's just a teenager, and people are forgetting that. We had never discussed Clemson, and I am unhappy with Clemson. I'm not there, so I don't know for certain, but I feel like Robert was pressured into this decision."
At the time, Nkemdiche’s older brother, Denzel Nkemdiche, was set to begin his redshirt freshman season as a hybrid linebacker/safety at Ole Miss. Robert and his family made several unofficial visits to Oxford, Miss., including one trip shortly after his commitment to the Tigers. Two months later, Nkemdiche decommitted from Clemson, and the Rebels shot to the top of the list.
The consensus has been for several months that Nkemdiche will sign with Ole Miss and join his brother in college. But while Clemson faded and went in a different direction, other SEC programs like Florida and LSU still worked to get Nkemdiche on campus for official visits. Last weekend the Tigers hosted Nkemdiche for his final official visit.
“LSU told me I could come there and achieve everything I have dreamed about doing,” Robert Nkemdiche said. “They showed me that their DL coach is a great coach and that they would get me to the next level.”
As of Monday night, Nkemdiche had last touched base with the Rebels.
“[Ole Miss co-defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff] just told me they would love to have me and to make the right choice,” Nkemdiche said.
Nkemdiche will announce his intentions to sign Wednesday morning at 7:35 a.m. ET on ESPN. He plans to keep it simple, and expressed some excitement about finally ending the process.
“My family is going to be really happy for me on Wednesday and they told me they were ready for me to sign and to make a smart decision,” Nkemdiche said. “I don’t plan to mess with anyone’s feelings, so I am just going to put on a hat. It is going to be a really good feeling to know I made at least one fanbase is happy on signing day.”