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.”
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
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