Although Bulldogs recruitniks are encouraged that UGA made the latest “Top 5″ schools under consideration by Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s consensus No. 1 overall college football prospect, most recruiting handicappers still consider Alabama the overwhelming favorite to snag the defensive end from Loganville, with some giving Ole Miss a shot because that’s where his brother Denzel is playing and it would make his dad happy to have both boys on the same team.
That’s what’s called a “package deal” in the recruiting business.
But there’s another potential package deal that might allow Georgia to get a little more leverage with Nkemdiche than just being the home state school. Some recruiting observers think UGA could perhaps ace out Bama and Ole Miss if it were to offer a spot to cornerback David Kamara, Nkemdiche’s teammate at Grayson High and his best friend since sixth grade.
As Nkemdiche told the AJC’s Michael Carvell about Kamara, “He’s a real good cornerback, and that’s my closest friend. I love hanging out and playing football with David. He’s like my brother. I’m with him all the time. I would like to go to college with him. He’s a good person, and a hard worker on the football field. There are a lot of good things about him. He can help a team. … Wherever we feel like we can go together and both have an offer from, that will work out for us.”
After reading that, one Georgia fan spoke for many when he told me, “If I’m Richt, I’m offering this guy’s best friend asap.”
It certainly doesn’t hurt that Kamara is a speedy cornerback and Georgia is dangerously thin at that position. Plus, this is like a second chance at Nkemdiche after UGA failed to offer a scholarship to his brother quickly enough when it had the chance.
“Yes, that would’ve made a difference for me with Georgia,” Nkemdiche told the AJC after visiting UGA. “I never really understood it. Georgia just waited too long and [Denzel] went ahead and signed with Ole Miss. But I like Georgia. It’s fine that my brother is not there. I still like Georgia.”
Offering Kamara probably is the Dogs’ best chance at countering those national championship rings the Tide are flashing at him. And getting Nkemdiche away from Nick Saban would be a major recruiting coup.
It’s not like package deals are a foreign concept for Mark Richt’s program, either. Most observers feel that being a close friend of the much-wanted Isaiah Crowell helped draw an offer from UGA for Quintavious Harrow, and perhaps Georgia’s pursuit of five-star recruit John Theus played a role in the Dogs signing his brother Nathan to a scholarship as a “long snappuh.” Then there are the Ogletree brothers, Alec and Zander.
Of course, these package deals don’t always work out the way they’re intended. Many figured Georgia offered receiver Lonnie Outlaw because he was the cousin of hot prospect Nick Marshall, but Outlaw never was able to qualify and now Marshall is gone, too.
Still, with a few scholarships in his pocket to play with and a paucity of cornerbacks, there doesn’t appear to be any downside to Richt offering one to Kamara, whether it’s strictly on his own merits or part of a play for Nkemdiche.
What do you think?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg