Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss’ top target at defensive end for the 2103 class, verbally pledged to play for the Clemson Tigers Thursday. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound standout from Gayson High School in Logansville, Ga., is the consensus No. 1 ranked player in the nation and had offers from countless schools across the Southeast and nation. Nkemdiche, who has been timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, arrived at Clemson for an unofficial visit Wednesday and he made his announcement via twitter and a day after his Grayson teammate, defensive back David Kamara, chose to play for Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney. Kamara (5-11, 185) also had an offer to play for Ole Miss.
Nkemdiche’s brother, Denzel, is currently a linebacker with the Rebels and that fact gave Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and his staff a more than viable chance of landing the No. 1 ranked prospect. Nkemdiche, who finished with 59 tackles and 18 sacks and 17 quarterback hurries last year, had Ole Miss listed as a finalist throughout his recruiting process.
Mississippi State, who signed Grayson QB Nick Schuessler this past recruiting class, LSU, a school Nkemdiche raved about during his trip to Baton Rouge (La.) this spring, Alabama, Georgia and Texas were the other schools Nkemdiche consistently listed as his leaders along with Ole Miss.
Nkemdiche was scheduled to make his college pick on May 18 following his spring game, but pushed back the decision in order to evaluate the process into the summer. That choice then became a surprise to many recruiting analysts Thursday when he chose the Tigers despite not having Clemson listed as one of his top teams.
National Signing Day is Feb. 6, 2013. (June 15, 2012, Page 6A)