Many who follow high school recruiting were shocked when prized defensive end Robert Nkemdiche of Loganville, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, Grayson, the country’s No. 1 overall prospect, committed to Clemson this week.
Although Nkemdiche. a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive terror, consistently listed the Tigers among his favorites, few ever seemed to give the Tigers much of a shot.
Alabama, long considered the leader, not only had tradition and a history of producing NFL talent on its side, but a Crimson Tide alum – Mickey Conn – coaching his team.
Ole Miss, where Nkemdiche’s brother, Denzel, is a defensive back, also seemed like a possible destination. So did LSU, a school that Nkemdiche raved about at length after visiting earlier this year.
Recently, there also was chatter about Georgia, which hired Daryl Jones, a Grayson assistant during Nkemdiche’s freshman year, as its Director of On-Campus Recruiting, and Mississippi State, which signed former Grayson quarterback Nick Schussler, who Nkemdiche has lived with, in February.
Meantime, Clemson got very little buzz.
That changed Wednesday night when defensive back David Kamara of Grayson, one of Nkemdiche’s closest friends, announced via Twitter he had verbally committed to the Tigers. Kamara has said for months he and Nkemdiche intended to play together in college.
Turns out, he was right.