Robert Nkemdiche officially ranked as nation’s No. 1 junior football prospect

Who is Georgia's No. 1 junior?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

It was no surprise on Tuesday when one recruiting service came out with its rankings for the nation’s top high school juniors, and Robert Nkemdiche was at the very top of the list.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end from Grayson High School was rated No. 1 in the country for the class of 2013 by 247sports. Nkemdiche has denied longtime rumors that he is a “secret commitment” to Alabama. His only unofficial visit this season was to last week’s game at Alabama. He is officially considering Florida and LSU, along with Alabama.

The bigger surprise was that another junior from Georgia was ranked No. 2 overall in the country – Troup County linebacker Reuben Foster, who is officially committed to Alabama but also still talking with UGA, Auburn and Florida.

“It was really a tough decision among the people that decided between Robert and Reuben,” said Rusty Mansell of 247sports.com. “It’s a tribute to the state of Georgia when you have two players who could’ve been the choice as the No. 1 player in the country. We went with Robert because he’s so big and fast. You just don’t see people who can run like him in college, much less high school.”

Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche has been considered the favorite to be the USA's No. 1 prospect for 2013 since his sophomore year (AJC)

Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche has been considered the favorite to be the USA's No. 1 prospect for 2013 since his sophomore year (AJC)

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Foster is another top Georgia product but was somewhat of a surprise as No. 2 in the country. While Nkemdiche is the state’s best defensive end – regardless of class, Foster is among an elite linebacker group that also includes seniors Dillon Lee of Buford (committed to Alabama) and Stone Mountain’s Markuss Eligwe (Florida State).

“After watching his highlight tape and in person, Reuben is as fast of an attacking downhill linebacker as you’ll ever see,” Mansell said. “When he gets there, he’s violent. People don’t like using the word ‘violent’ in football. But he’s violent and causes harm when he gets there. His coach gave me a great quote, saying that ‘I don’t know anybody that doesn’t like Reuben. He smiles as much as any kid I’ve ever coached.’

“Both young men are great kids off the field, the total packages. When I talk about them to other people, I always say that you better go see them now when it costs $8 per ticket because in a few years it’s going to cost you a $70 ticket and $20 parking pass to watch them play on Sundays.”

To look at the rest of 247sports.com’s Top 247 for 2013, please click here.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

226 comments Add your comment

Recruiting Guru

November 9th, 2011
12:54 am

Looks like Saban is reloading.

Cobb Dawg

November 9th, 2011
12:55 am

What a surprise. The TOP 2 juniors in the nation are BOTH FROM Georgia and BOTH are going to Alabama. Coach Rodney “French Fry” Garner was a great recruiter back in the day but his time has passed. It’s time to get some “new blood” in there for the Dawgs. Maybe Coach Richt can sing Happy Birthday or something to Robert & Reuben to change their mind?

at the 10...5...TD!

November 9th, 2011
1:12 am

heck yeah Saban is reloading. so is Miles. Spurrier is over there quietly building up too. I hope to see this kid play at Ala. they play a get after it kind of style. the real teams in the SEC simply reload by controlling their in-state talent and snatching the best from surrounding states. imagine him after a red shirt year of eating and lifting and oh yeah going to class too.

Louisianna-Monroe_anyone?

November 9th, 2011
1:14 am

why would a hs player want to go to alabama? they don’t even win divisions at that school.

nick saban/alabama: where great hs talent goes to underachieve!

NewnanRxDawg

November 9th, 2011
1:22 am

I hope Grantham gives Nkemdiche and Foster the royal treatment. These are really true talents. Play right away types. UGA will need a dominant OLB after Jones leaves for the NFL after next year. I hate seeing the cream of the crop from our state getting overlooked and escaping across our borders. Bobo/Gardner should throw the book at these guys.

Crimson Crush

November 9th, 2011
1:27 am

Nice to see the top two 2013 recruits in the nation possibly headed to the Capstone .

P_The_Ricker

November 9th, 2011
2:06 am

@ at the 10…5…TD

yeah, spurrier is “quietly building” towards another 5 loss season.

at the 10...5..TD!!

November 9th, 2011
3:43 am

P the Ricker…South Carolina is quietly suffering from injuries. Their big hoss is out right now and going with a true freshman as his replacement. If you look, Spurrier is snatching up some local talent in Georgia and once he gets a QB to manage his games they’ll be back. The East is so weak this year they still may make the ride to the Ga Dome.

at the 10...5..TD!!

November 9th, 2011
3:56 am

@NewnanRxDawg…that’s what I’m saying right there. Look at what you said. You want true freshmen to come in and help your program out right away at a key position. I know you know that is a prescription for failure. Richt has been in place long enough to have some juniors or at least some red shirt sophomores ready to fill some key spots. Where are they at?? Under Richt and Gardner UGA will always be a 2nd tier SEC school. They have the resources to be a national program but for some reason the administration is content being mediocre. As long as people pay to see that mess Adams ain’t changing a thing.

7576DAWG

November 9th, 2011
4:23 am

CMR’s philosophy is he want’s to recruit players that fit in at Georgia. He has to make some exception’s because of need but for the most part it is very important that the recruiy really want to be a Dawg. On the other hand coaches like Saban will sign a recruit just to keep him off their competitors roster. The pathetic thing about that is a lot of the Georgia player’s that go out of state are so conceited they don’t think it pertains to them. Not a lot of integrity from the other coaches when that happens.

gomdawg

November 9th, 2011
6:11 am

Lets leave the recruiting to the coaches , yes I would love to get these two kids but it’s way to early to see were they are going.I’m thinking about Auburn one game at a time. GO DAWGS

Destin Dawg

November 9th, 2011
6:15 am

Garner’s time has past…..these kids would do much better at UGA… close to support groups.. friends and family.. Saban;s runs in 3 / 4 year streaks… watch for MSU to upset Ala. this weekend… poorly called game agaist LSU…

Old Dawg

November 9th, 2011
6:20 am

Saban oversigns… they will get lost in Ala.. depth chart…. these kids should stay in State… be Georgia heros .. they would do better after college too… NFL or not .. Go Dawgs beat Awlbarn !!

Destin Dawg

November 9th, 2011
6:26 am

Spurrier is quietly heading to retirement… 66 years old.. looked tired last week.. will get beat by a weak Fla. team

Destin Dawg

November 9th, 2011
6:28 am

Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large State University education.. plus Big time sports ” in a great college town.. Athens, Ga.. Go Dawhs !!

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

November 9th, 2011
6:35 am

State boundries play less and less importance to a lot of these kids.

Think more regionalism.

You can drive 6/7 hours from ATL and hit ALABAMA, auburn, Clemson, South Carolina, Florida, FSU, Vandy, Tennessee, Ole Miss, MS ST and KY – as well as Georgia and GT. – and LSU is just a little out of 6 hours drive from ATL.

Most of these kids want to go where they have chances to win championships, can be developed, and contribute as soon as possible. Coaching stability is important – and game day atmosphere. Also, for many – academics is also important.

ALABAMA is football elite in the SE.
13 national titles
22 SEC Titles
101,000 seat stadium – packed!
strongest brand name in the SE
beautiful coeds
good academics
a National player.
football greatness is in our DNA – just like basketball greatness is in KY’s DNA.

If you are an elite football player – Alabama is on your list.

As far as the best HS football players not going to UGA?
The state of Georgia is loaded – can’t get them all.
Bet yes, If I am a UGA fan – I would expect to at least be in the running for the better players.
But UGA does get good players – from other states as well. Stafford, Moreno, AJ Green, A. Murray, Orson Charles – all from other states.

UGA’s issues is that the fans think UGA is better and respected more than they are – regionally and nationally.

UGA is the Michigan State of the SEC.
UGA is the Cal of the Pac 10
UGA is the Clemson of the ACC

All competitive schools – but just not elite. But their fans think they are better than they actually are.
They all compete for an upper position in the conference every 8 years or so – and that holds them off for the next 8 years.

UGA is a good football progam – but greatness and being elite is not in UGA’s DNA.

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

November 9th, 2011
6:45 am

How many of the AJC elite 11 are going to UGA this year?

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

November 9th, 2011
6:52 am

How many of the states top 25 – according to Rivals – are staying in state to attend UGA this year?

http://rivals.yahoo.com/UGA/football/recruiting/rankings/rank-2947

I think the results are very telling – in terms of how UGA is perceived out there.

What a Joke

November 9th, 2011
7:04 am

And Alabama is in second place in the West. Why? Because their coach called the worst game in history last week. 5 years at Bama, one SEC Championship. Want to talk atmosphere?….Tuscalooer? Really?

What a Joke

November 9th, 2011
7:05 am

Great schools NEVER lost to Louisiana Monroe.

What a Joke

November 9th, 2011
7:06 am

Hey I know…go to Alabama and if you arent quite good as advertised, you can leave the school on yet another medical hardship. Do the research! Where are these kids parents? Do the freakin research!

Saban is a liar

November 9th, 2011
7:13 am

Whoa did somebody use the term good academics and Alabama in the same sentence?
That is the funniest blog ever!!!!!! I am a big fan of Louisiana Monroe anyway.

Georgia's Bayou Bengal

November 9th, 2011
7:13 am

It was great to see all those LSU players head to the Capstone on Saturday and walk away with a W!!!

SuperB

November 9th, 2011
7:15 am

Why isn’t Georgia on the top of their lists? Let’s go Dawgs!

Larry

November 9th, 2011
7:21 am

“On the other hand coaches like Saban will sign a recruit just to keep him off their competitors roster.”

^ — Dumbest comment thus far!

Saban is to smart than to waste scholarships to keep players off other teams. No, he his signs them, he wants them to play.

Go Dawgs!

DOG2

November 9th, 2011
7:22 am

Roll Tide with Pride.did you mention the Priceless coach of yours past at the strip bar…you people in Alabama live in the past wearing your hounds tooth crap and thinking the “bear ” still walks the sidelines. Florida and LSU have owned you…even Auburn Get back to cooking my eggs at the waffle house so you can afford your single wide!

Say Whut

November 9th, 2011
7:24 am

Did the Alabama fan list “good academics” as a plus for the Tide? I have a friend who’s son graduated with honors from Alabama. Good for him! (He did not get accepted to Georgia.) And Georgia has been far more successful on the gridiron than Michigan State, Cal, or Clemson. Cal and Michigan State are a helluva lot better schools academically than Alabama. but who isn’t? And Saban– he has how many SEC titles at Bama?

Larry

November 9th, 2011
7:24 am

SuperB

November 9th, 2011
7:15 am

“Why isn’t Georgia on the top of their lists? Let’s go Dawgs!”

Because they, nor their parents, have any loyalty to the Georgia property owner taxpayers that funded their educations for 12+years. It’s a “me” thing…it’s the entitlement mentality.

gamecock

November 9th, 2011
7:26 am

5 loss? Wasn’t for Marcus getting hurt and Garcia we would lead the east uga is a joke

tide roll

November 9th, 2011
7:27 am

why would any recruit want to go to bama? Saban doesn’t know how to coach a game. He’s too afraid to go for it on fourth down. Look at how many time Richt decided to go for it on fourth against UF, and this paid off in the end. Maybe if saban had some cajones, bama could have beaten LSU.

tide roll

November 9th, 2011
7:31 am

It sure is some curious recruiting that Nick Saban is doing at bama. He only offers scholarships to white placekickers. Why is that? When they miss 4 of 6 in “the game of the century”, maybe he should look beyond the color barrier for that particular position.

Bama13

November 9th, 2011
7:32 am

@DOG2 – Your a damn idiot!!!Nothin else to say, lmao!!!!

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:34 am

Bama needs some offense. If Georgia plays LSU, I’ll bet my next ” Fresh Air BBQ sandwich” Georgia scores more than 6 points on them. I’ll say it now, Bobo,Richt and the Dawgs are better offensively than Bama. More weapons. OL not at good, but skill players, yes, especially QB

UCF

November 9th, 2011
7:34 am

What a Joke.

Blackoutanyone?

November 9th, 2011
7:37 am

Been saying this for months now. Georgia’s #1 2012 prospect (Jordan Jenkins) as well as 5 of the top 11 will be wearing Crimson and White as well. Reports are that 2013 UGA RB commit Derrick Henry loved his visit last week to T-town. Rueben Foster grew up a Bama fan and Nkemdiche is coached by former Bama player Mickey Conn. Only chance UGA has with either would be to hire Kirby Smart… and I think Richt is safe. Especially after he woops AU and wins the east this year. Roll Tide!!

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:39 am

gamecock………………missing players for games and crying what ifs on this board won’t get you far.
could of should of would of’s is for losers. Maybe we beat you guys last year with AJ playing. could of LOL…..

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:40 am

I heard for months that Ray Drew and Crowell were Bama locks. Sure bets. Do you want to cut and paste that BS from last year?

RNB

November 9th, 2011
7:43 am

Alot can change in a year. Kirby will probably be leaving for a head job this year.

gamecock

November 9th, 2011
7:45 am

Stop all the crying uga fans you can’t keep your own players instate that’s not ss or saban fault do a better job recruiting and you will not have that problem at least we not 6-6 lol or should I say UCF?

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:46 am

Bama may be scrambling to hire Kirby themselves. Saban is just about time wise getting his itch, especially losing 8 senior starters and of 9 juniors, probably 3 or 4 declare for the draft leaving about 12 new starters next year.Dawgs are PO’ed they are talking about deleting Bama for us next year and replacing them with Missouri. With 17 starters coming back, I would like a shot at Bama.

cajdawg

November 9th, 2011
7:48 am

It is disappointing and befuddling that elite players would leave the state of Georgia for the cesspools to the the West. If I kid wants to leave home, I can understand and respect decisions like UNC, Florida, Vandy, Texas, UCLA, Notre Dame, Standford- all types of schools were kids can achieve academically…but Alafnbama?

pooch

November 9th, 2011
7:48 am

The dogs will always be mediocre 9 out of 10 yrs…please keep Richt and everyone in the SEC is happy… Richt’s attention to the team is too loose …

Tell me this…If BAMA, with Saban running the show, is so pitiful in your eyes, why in the world were you dog lovers wanting to hire Kirby? He is trained under Saban. Saban doesn’t make the program…the recruits do. You should change your chant from “Go Dogs” to “Wait til next Year !!”

Win and keep your dogs off my lawn !!

ROLL TIDE

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:48 am

gamecock………..Google ESPN’s report of the top recruiting rankings the last decade. You’ll find the Dawgs at #2. Players ARE NOT OUR problem. It’s coaching.

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:50 am

pooch…………….You do know Kirby is a Georgia boy and Alum?…………

gamecock

November 9th, 2011
7:51 am

HOW MANY OF YOU EVERY ATTEND UGA? OR PLAYED FTBALL? YOU GUYS ARE A JOKE UGA THIS UGA THAT. WHEN RICHT LOSS THE FIRST TWO GAMES WHAT DID YOU GUYS SAY? IT’S TIME FOR HIM TO GO HAHAHA LOOK AT YOU KNOW IF I WAS THINKING ABOUT ATTENDING UGA I WOULD SECOND GUESS MYSELF.

gamecock

November 9th, 2011
7:52 am

PLAYERS PRODUCE COACHES DON’T!!!! JB

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:52 am

Also gamecock, unlike Bama, AU and Tech, Dawgs got that ranking without being put on probation or having games forfeited by the NCAA

JB

November 9th, 2011
7:53 am

damn Gamecock……..have a cup of coffee….I don’t need caps this AM…..LOL

tide roll

November 9th, 2011
7:54 am

Why play for a team with such a boring offense? Bama can only score 6 points in their most important game ever? All you need to do is kick 3 field goals to beat bama. Saban offense = boring!

Bama Fan

November 9th, 2011
7:54 am

We know we’re in real trouble when you guys stop hating us. Hasn’t happened yet. ;-)