Robert Nkemdiche on his rumored ’secret commitment’ to Alabama (UPDATED)

Grayson HS DE Robert Nkemdiche and coach Mickey Conn (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Grayson HS DE Robert Nkemdiche and coach Mickey Conn (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

One of the biggest recruiting rumors floating around Georgia is that Robert Nkemdiche has “secretly committed” to Alabama. The 6-foot-5, 263-pound defensive end from Grayson High School is a candidate to be the nation’s No. 1 overall college football prospect for 2013.

You’re not an elite prospect if there aren’t several recruiting rumors following you around.

Here are several reasons why the “Nkemdiche-to-Bama” rumors started:

  • Alabama is one of 20+ schools that told Robert he will have football scholarship papers waiting on him as a senior
  • Robert made an unofficial visit to Alabama last fall and enjoyed it. Robert’s teammates says he often wears an “A” cap
  • Grayson’s high school coach is a former Alabama football player

We stopped by Grayson High School and asked Robert the big question: Are you a “secret commitment” to Alabama?

“No sir, I didn’t secretly commit to Alabama,” Nkemdiche told the AJC. “I just like them. Alabama is a good school and my coach went there. I just like the school, and it has nothing to do with my coach.”

The next visit was with Grayson coach Mickey Conn, who played football at Alabama. Conn has helped nearly 75 of his players earn college scholarships over the years, including to BYU, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, many more, and, yes — one to Alabama (Lorenzo Washington).

There’s a conspiracy theory among some non-Alabama fans that Conn is pushing his prized prospect toward Alabama.

“That’s not true; Robert is ‘free game’ and I want him to go where he wants to go and pick the school that is the best fit for him,” Conn told the AJC.

Back to Big Rob: Nkemdiche said he won’t make his college decision until February after his senior year. He wishes to play on the same college team as his older brother, but will likely check out other options, too. Grayson DB Denzel Nkemiche committed to Ole Miss on Friday (go here to read full story)

Robert Nkemdiche prediction

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BREAKING NEWS! Grayson DB Denzel Nkemdiche got good news on Monday with his test scores in his attempt to meet NCAA college entrance requirements. “He scored really well, and we’re waiting on GPA at the end of the week … but I would say it’s a ‘done deal,’” Grayson coach Mickey Conn told the AJC.

UGA has made a late run at Denzel, both offering an official visit and scholarship. But Denzel said he’s “sticking with Ole Miss.”

“It just felt right; Ole Miss did the right things, and recruited me the right way,” Denzel said. “I haven’t had any second thoughts about committing to Ole Miss. I kind of want to get away a little bit.”

Denzel said he will sign with Ole Miss as early as Tuesday. He hasn’t had any communications with UGA since last Friday night. Denzel said UGA assistant Bryan McClendon invited him for an official visit on Tuesday, May 31 — the same day he is supposed to report to Ole Miss for summer school.  Denzel said he would’ve checked out UGA had they invited him to come up sooner. Note: The NCAA’s signing period for football has ended. Denzel can sign athletic scholarship papers with Ole Miss, but won’t officially be an Ole Miss recruit until he attends his first day of summer college classes, which could be as early as next week.

  • Creekside’s Josh Holsey, one of the state’s top 2012 college prospects at defensive back, will pick between UGA, Auburn, LSU and Virginia Tech on Tuesday (go here to read full story)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

CLICK HERE to catch up on ALL of the LATEST RECRUITING NEWS

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com — Inappropriate BLOG comments will NOT be tolerated

Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC

123 comments Add your comment

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
3:08 pm

bigtime

May 23rd, 2011
3:13 pm

Roll Tide also. 8-)

Zeke

May 23rd, 2011
3:14 pm

In related news, Mark Richt was quoted as saying “Robert who?”

GT Hulk

May 23rd, 2011
3:15 pm

Any chance of Ga. Southern, Wofford or MTSU offering, so Paul Johnson will have a chance and offer? Does anybody want to play for dinosoar Al Groh?

richtfan

May 23rd, 2011
3:17 pm

right………….

bigtime

May 23rd, 2011
3:19 pm

Robert Nkemdiche = B-A-M-A B-O-U-N-D

sogadog

May 23rd, 2011
3:20 pm

What is going on with the recruiting at UGA? We are losing recruits to our rivals and it seems we rush in late with an offer when we realize they are ready to commit to another school. Two good recruits who were UGA leans have committed to other schools. (Dillon Lee, Denzel Dkimiche) and Josh Holsey is leaning away from UGA because he was not recruited aggressively. The UGA coaches need to stop resting on their laurels and get to work recruiting the 2012 class. McLendon is not earning his big raise.

bucket

May 23rd, 2011
3:27 pm

Alot of things can happen between now and 2013. I don’t think enough is made of the fact that all of these high school coaches around the state of Georgia played college ball at places other than UGA. This is NOT an attack on Coach Conn, but we would be stupid to think that these coaches don’t have a big influence on where the players commit.

Al in Dadeville

May 23rd, 2011
3:27 pm

Harvey Updike anyone?

TTindall

May 23rd, 2011
3:28 pm

Did everyone catch the quote ” had UGA offered earlier, I would have taken a visit”. That is the second time in a week that we have missed an instate kid who said the same thing. It would be one thing if we were losing them to Tech, then I might say that they might not be up to SEC calibre. But we are losing them to our main SEC opponents. CMR, PLEASE WAKE UP before we lose any more. This should never, ever be the case, unless you do not want your job to continue. Please let me know if I am missing anything.

AltamahaDawg

May 23rd, 2011
3:29 pm

But “likely” to check out other options besides Ole’ Miss. Ya think!

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
3:29 pm

Robert Nkemdiche + Reuben Foster= DYNASTY IN T-TOWN

Corn Dawg

May 23rd, 2011
3:35 pm

BLAH BLAH, WHO CARES???? EVERYONE WILL JUMP ON BOARD WITH THE DAWG POUND WHEN WE WIN THE SEC THIS YR.

Riley

May 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

A lot can change in 2+ years. Who says Saban is even there? Or Kirby Smart? Or even his brother at Ole Miss?

secskools

May 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

Yep, he will go to bama; ’cause uga is lazy, late, and will disolve it’s football program and focus on women’s sports. Face it, they are all a bunch of p…..s anyway, so why not? Right? Roll Tide!!!!!!!!

bigtime

May 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

Because kids all over the nation should want Harvey Updyke to represent them.

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

“There’s a conspiracy theory among some NON-ALABAMA fans that Conn is pushing his prized prospect toward Alabama.”

That’s a very inaccurate statement…. we (Bama fans) feel he is pushing this young man to… and doing a very good job to boot. His brother signing with Ole Miss further proves to me that Robert will indeed be wearing Crimson and White.

schmeckdawg

May 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

3 years is a long way from now. I personally put no stock in this. Knowing Saban a.k.a Petrino, Jr. Who know where that jerk will be in 3 years!

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
3:45 pm

bigtime… looks like we’ll have a pretty good basketball program on our hands next year to.

DawginLex

May 23rd, 2011
3:51 pm

Who friggin’ cares? There could be 1-10 SEC coaching changes by 2013.

Richt needs to win now. Period.

I hope Joe T is kicking their tails. I hope they are tired of getting pushed around on the lines of scrimmage.

Rabun Dawg

May 23rd, 2011
3:51 pm

Wow, two years away and already committed? Lots of stuff can happen between now and 2013! Don’t know what Ole Miss has coming in, but haven’t heard them mentioned as being that relevant in the SEC West, see ALA.,ARK,LSU,MST. Even though he says he would like to play with big brother, that fact did not sway the fellow from Buford , who recently committed to Ala over UGA. So, Blackoutanyone, we might as well concede the SEC to the dynasty in T-Town and not even play the games?

bigtime

May 23rd, 2011
3:54 pm

Blackoutanyone?… This is a great time to be a Bama fan of several sports. The tornado may have destroyed some of the town, but the spirit of the Tide fans is still strong. I can’t remember the last time that I was actually excited about a basketball season in Tuscaloosa.

@ imposter bigtime 3:38 post….. Cute, where’s your mommy at little girl?

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
3:59 pm

Rabun Dawg…. Your words not mine. Besides UGA is in the East.

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
4:04 pm

bigtime…. It’s been a long time. Should be fun. How’s that web site coming?.. U don’t come around these parts enough anymore.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 23rd, 2011
4:15 pm

Two years is a long time away right now. Who knows what the kid is thinking or not thinking. If his high school coach has only had 1 recruit from his school go to Bama., doesn’t sound like he influences his players decision that much. I guess time will tell. I hope if his coach has any influence on this young man, it would be to influence him to study hard and not make the mistake academically, that his brother did. I understand now that the NCAA will require the student to take 8 hours of studies pertaining to his major as opposed to 6 hours previously. That isn’t a bunch but for football players, and their busy schedule, it will require them to use a little more intensity and dedication to their studies.

GoldenDawg

May 23rd, 2011
4:18 pm

Love the coaches email address mailto:cdcbama1@bellsouth.net .

bigtime

May 23rd, 2011
4:20 pm

Blackoutanyone?… Us Bama fans will be on this blog as long as Bama is pulling large numbers of high quality recruits from the state of Georgia. Kenyan Drake said it best;

Kenyan Drake on Twitter: georgia boys are taken over bama! 6 commits from ga.. roll tide

:D
The website’s doing great, thanks for asking.

jarvis

May 23rd, 2011
4:24 pm

Alabama

May 23rd, 2011
4:27 pm

the only state in the U.S. that prides itself on football over education. Must be proud. Watch out for my alma mater the Stanford Cardinals in 2011!

nobody

May 23rd, 2011
4:28 pm

Much to the surprise of the nation, the State of Georgia pays teachers far beter than the State of Alabama…that is one reason why we wind up with so many teachers from Alabama…the other is that teachers can retire sooner in Alabama than in Georgia..thus, retired Alabama teachers come to Georgia…long story short…those folks who coach bring their UofA and AUB feelings with them…recruiting kids to Alabama and Georgia will only get worse…duh..

nobody

May 23rd, 2011
4:30 pm

Auburn, not Georgia…

cadawg

May 23rd, 2011
4:37 pm

bigtime: good to see you and blackout back on the boards. 2012 looks to be another incredible class for the tide. the best recruiting my dawgs can do right now is win some dang games–we do that and we’ll be back in the top 10.

hope to see you boys in atlanta come december.

bigturd

May 23rd, 2011
4:38 pm

It must be terrible to have to admit your state has no one that can play football. Even worse, no one is smart enough in your great state of Scalabama to have their on blog. So you come to Georgia for it. Remember that, your state is nothing without Georgia! You said it, not me!

Delbert D.

May 23rd, 2011
4:38 pm

Mickey Conn looks to be about 5′3″ in that picture.

Uga9

May 23rd, 2011
4:44 pm

Why would any school system in Georgia hire a football coach that played at Bama or Auburn, do they pay their high school kids too?

schmeckdawg

May 23rd, 2011
4:50 pm

AltamahaDawg

Blackoutanyone?… Us Bama fans will be on this blog as long as Bama is pulling large numbers of high quality recruits from the state of Georgia. Kenyan Drake said it best;

Kenyan Drake on Twitter: georgia boys are taken over bama! 6 commits from ga.. roll tide

Your thoughts on this.

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
4:55 pm

schmeckdawg…. That was bigtime’s post. Are you asking for my thoughts or AltamahaDawg?

bigtime

May 23rd, 2011
4:55 pm

cadawg… Thanks, bro. I wish the Dawgs nothing but the best in the upcoming season. I wouldn’t worry too much about UGA’s recruiting class at this time. For whatever reason Richt always seems to be the last horse out of the gate but he always finishes strong. You guys will do just fine before all is said and done with yet another top 10 recruiting class in the end to prove it.

Roll Tide

schmeckdawg

May 23rd, 2011
4:58 pm

AltamahaDawg

We were having a running diatribe this morning about our thoughts on where UGA stands RIGHT NOW as far as recruiting goes. I was very frustrated and him/her (I REALLY don’t know which) not so much. So when I saw the post and what the kid from Bama was saying, it put a bur in my saddle. Sorry about the confusion Blackout!

Really Haters???

May 23rd, 2011
5:01 pm

Really, Bama fans, I mean Really…

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
5:02 pm

cadawg… thanks. I agree with you. When Richt gets things turned around prospects will be beating down the doors. If he doesn’t a fresh new staff will be in place and again… prospects will be beating down the doors. Talent will never be a problem at UGA. The HS football is jut too good in the state of GA for that to be the problem.

bigturd… I guess this is as good a time as any for the daily reminder that this is a blog dedicated to “college recruiting”. Though Michael Carvell certainly has slanted it into a UGA/GT blog recently. At any rate hate on hater!!! lol

Michael Carvell

May 23rd, 2011
5:03 pm

@Blackoutanyone? thanks for your post. This blog has three coverage priorities: Georgia, Georgia Tech and high school athletes from the state of Georgia.

@Rabun Dawg, thanks for your post. Yes, it’s hard to get excited about a 2013 recruit. I prefer to focus on the current year’s recruits (2012). But Robert Nkemdiche is the exception. He’s the best sophomore prospect I’ve seen in 25 years of covering sports.

Techie

May 23rd, 2011
5:11 pm

GTHULK, let it go son. PJ is a better recruiter than you think. Hate on troll

Blackoutanyone?

May 23rd, 2011
5:13 pm

Cletus… I have the 2010 BCS National Championship game on DVR. You wanna come on over and watch it tonight? lol hang in there bro…

ClinchCountyDawg

May 23rd, 2011
5:23 pm

Rumor has it that Nkemdiche is really a double secret commit to the Dawgs.

Gcock

May 23rd, 2011
5:25 pm

How the hell do you pronounce his name??????????

ClinchCountyDawg

May 23rd, 2011
5:27 pm

Gcock

You pronounce his name just like it sounds. Duh!!!!

ClinchCountyDawg

May 23rd, 2011
5:29 pm

Gcock

If you can’t say Robert then call him Bob for short.

schmeckdawg

May 23rd, 2011
5:30 pm

@ AltamahaDawg

Are you still reading some of these posts? These were my exact concerns when you and I were “talking” about this earlier!

sogadog

May 23rd, 2011
5:16 pm
What is going on with the recruiting at UGA? We are losing recruits to our rivals and it seems we rush in late with an offer when we realize they are ready to commit to another school. Two good recruits who were UGA leans have committed to other schools. (Dillon Lee, Denzel Dkimiche) and Josh Holsey is leaning away from UGA because he was not recruited aggressively. The UGA coaches need to stop resting on their laurels and get to work recruiting the 2012 class. McLendon is not earning his big raise.

schmeckdawg

May 23rd, 2011
5:31 pm

ClinchCountyDawg

Now that’s pretty funny!!!!!!!!!!!