By now you’ve probably heard that Robert Nkemdiche, the consensus No.1 football player in the country, has decommitted from Clemson.
Multiple news outlets initially reported the news Wednesday evening before Nkemdiche’s high school coach, Mickey Conn, confirmed the news to MaxPreps.
Ole Miss beat writer Hugh Kellenberger did a nice job of detailing a lot of the early action over on his blog. You can read his Nkemdiche posts at http://blogs.clarionledger.com/um/
With so much news already focused on Nkemdiche’s decommitment decision, it is worth taking a look at how things may play out the rest of the way.
Who is the favorite going forward?
There is no question that Ole Miss is the favorite to land Robert Nkemdiche following his decommitment from Clemson. Nkemdiche has visited Ole Miss more than any other school – this weekend will be his 10th visit to the campus – and had previously told other news outlets that he was trying to decide between the Rebels and the Tigers in recent weeks.
JC Shurburtt, the national recruiting director for 247Sports, gives Ole Miss an 85 percent chance to land the five-star defensive end. In his expert opinion, Shurburtt believes Nkemdiche will make a commitment to Ole Miss within the next 30 days, but that it’s possible it could stretch all the way to National Signing Day on Feb. 6.
Both Nkemdiche’s mother, Beverly, and his coach believe he will wait until February to make a decision. Conn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday that he thinks it’d be beneficial for Nkemdiche to take his visits and wait to make a decision.
“But I think he needs to go and take his visits,” Conn told the AJC. “What do you get, five visits? He needs to pick five schools, and he needs to go visit them. You know, he needs to take his parents with him, and they need to visit with the coaches and make the family decision on what’s right and what’s best for Robert.”
If he takes those five visits, it’d likely be to Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, and Ole Miss. Alabama, a school his mom has publicly complimented, and Clemson likely have the best chance to land Nkemdiche if he doesn’t end up in Oxford.
How does this affect other players?
Nkemdiche has been very publicly tied to multiple teammates who are committed to Clemson. David Kamara and Wayne Gallman are two Grayson teammates committed to Clemson, while Ryan Carter has received interest from Clemson and Ole Miss, among other programs.
Nkemdiche famously created a firestorm when he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his commitment to Clemson would be finalized if Carter got a scholarship offer. He eventually backed off those comments, but it is worth noting Carter never got an offer.
Gallman has already come out and told ESPN that he is still 100 percent committed to Clemson. Don’t expect any major changes with him.
But one teammate worth keeping an eye on is Kamara, who is very close to Nkemdiche and has an Ole Miss offer. Should Nkemdiche commit to Ole Miss, as expected, keep a close eye as to what Kamara does.
Another possible guy that could follow Nkemdiche to Ole Miss is four-star linebacker Elijah Daniel. Daniel is committed to Clemson, but other programs like Ole Miss have worked hard to get into the mix with him.
Shurburtt said it wasn’t a “slam dunk” that Nkemdiche to Ole Miss would deliver Daniel as well, but it could have an impact.
It also could help with a national guy like Crete-Mone High School (Ill.) wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who currently has Ole Miss in his Top 5. Treadwell tweeted back and forth with a Nkemdiche Twitter account that was later proven to be fake.
One such tweet said, “The talk I had with @robertusmagna_1 (Nkemdiche’s old Twitter handle) a couple days ago…Sounds to (sic) real bro!”
He followed that tweet with another tweet simply saying, “Hotty Toddy!!”
What could this mean for Ole Miss?
We detailed what an Nkemdiche commitment could mean on Sunday, but it is worth repeating. An Nkemdiche commitment, along with landing a few other top targets, could push Ole Miss to a Top 10 recruiting class. Currently 247Composite ranks Ole Miss as the 17th best recruiting class. Nkemdiche would be the highest-ranked recruit to ever sign with Ole Miss.
Shurburtt said that from a “perception standpoint” landing Nkemdiche would be a very good thing for Ole Miss. That, along with a solid season under first-year coach Hugh Freeze, has Ole Miss recruiting on an upward trend.
“This program has been fearless,” he said. “I think this is a program to really watch in recruiting.”