Nkemdiche: Does UGA have chance? (UPDATED)

Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who is the first Georgia high school football player to be ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the nation, looked every bit as good as advertised in Grayson’s 25-17 win over Lowndes in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs on Friday night. Watch the video above for highlights of it.

Nkemdiche is a 6-foot-5, 270-pound junior who has Alabama, Florida, LSU, USC and Oregon as his top five, while UGA is “in the mix.” After Friday’s game, Nkemdiche told the AJC he was going to try to get over to UGA for an unofficial visit for Saturday’s Kentucky game but later said he ended up not making trip (Grayson is still in the playoffs). Nevertheless, it was still positive news for UGA, which was once considered a longshot to land Nkemdiche, even though Grayson and Athens are only 35 miles apart. Nkemdiche did visit the Bulldogs last weekend for the Auburn game — his only recruiting trip this fall other than to travel to rumored frontrunner Alabama for the LSU game. It was positive news that he was even thinking about making a return trip to UGA and could be a sign on a budding relationship between the Bulldogs and the 5-star recruit.

Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's No. 1 junior, played some RB at 6-5, 270 pounds and scored 3 TDs (AJC)

Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's No. 1 junior, played some RB at 6-5, 270 pounds and scored 3 TDs (AJC)

Did you get a chance to see Nkemdiche and Lowndes High School LB-WR Josh Clemons on Friday’s TV game?

Let me just say this: Many times a matchup of marquee players does not live up to the hype. However, this one exceeded expectations, if that was possible.

Nkemdiche looked every bit like the nation’s No. 1 prospect, perhaps turning in his best all-around performance on his high school career in the 25-17 win. He rushed for 61 yards and three touchdowns on offense. He got stripped on one play by Clemons (who was at linebacker), and then on the next play trucked Clemons. I don’t think Nkemdiche is going to have many 75-yard touchdown runs, but I also think he’s unstoppable in short-yardage situations.

On the other side of the ball, Lowndes – like every other team that has played Grayson this year – built its game plan around Nkemdiche, sending 2-3 blockers in his direction on every snap. Nkemdiche was ready for it. If he wasn’t making a tackle, he was taking on a wave of blockers to free up his teammates to do so. He finished with three sacks, including a 13-yard loss at the end of the game which sealed the win. There were only a couple of mistakes that were really noticeable – both times he lost containment on his side when the play went to the other side of the field, and by the time it came back on his direction Nkemdiche – out of his relentless pursuit – got caught up inside and let the runner get to the egde.

Josh Clemons at WR? He sure looked super at the position for Lowndes on Friday.

Josh Clemons at WR? He sure looked super at the position for Lowndes on Friday.

Overall, it was a masterful performance. Said Lowndes coach Randy McPherson before the game about Nkemdiche: “He’s a once-in-a-generation player.” We agree.

What about Clemons? He’s listed at 6-5 but might be 6-6. Much to my surprise, his biggest impact was at wide receiver – which is the position he is being recruited at by Alabama. He is being scouted as an outside linebacker by his other two finalists, Florida and UGA.

He has a body frame like TJ Stripling and I’m not sure if he will be able to gain enough weight to play linebacker. He looks more like a safety to me – has a nice burst of speed and makes plays. He was sensational at WR, both at shielding the defensive backs from the ball when a pass was thrown in his direction and making clutch catches. He caught a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter and emerged again in the second half to rally Lowndes to within a touchdown.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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140 comments Add your comment

B.G

November 19th, 2011
3:32 am

B.G

November 19th, 2011
3:59 am

Love your work! @ M. Carvell great call of Grayson vs Lowndes you did on t.v. I heard your comment of u believeing RN being a silent commitment to Bama despite what he says. It must be a good sign of RN visiting UGA again since his last week visit for the Auburn game? Also what recruits do you think UGA will sign on NSD, and recruits we might get that no one is talking about or think we have no chance at but might sign with UGA?

Preston

November 19th, 2011
4:40 am

If UGA lands these guys and continues to recruit the way they have the past few years, they could really start competing for championships again. There could be a LOT of people eating their words for wanting CMR fired.

LeftCoastDawg

November 19th, 2011
5:15 am

His eyes are opening and sounds like CMR and company are appealing to his interests

Rest of SEC

November 19th, 2011
5:57 am

Georgia has beat Alabama 3 out of last 4, LSU 3 out of last 4, Auburn 5 out of last 6, Clemson 4 out of last 4, Tennessee 3 of last 4, and Georgia Tech 9 out of last 10. Georgia = winning. It’s an easy choice.

Alabama is SO country

November 19th, 2011
6:07 am

Forget Bama if you don’t think tractor pulls and hog calling contests are fun on the weekends.

cliffard the big red dawg

November 19th, 2011
6:08 am

If he doesn’t go I will, and I might get one tackle….

Cam Newton

November 19th, 2011
6:13 am

Ask Saban why Alabama hasn’t played a black quarterback in 30 years? Is it illegal in Tuscaloser? He didn’t even recruit ME. 7 out of last 9, War Eagle!

Mississippii

November 19th, 2011
6:23 am

Don’t hate on Alabama for having hog calling contests on the weekend, that’s how they get dates.

Robert Stay in State

November 19th, 2011
6:25 am

We need Georgia boys to stay in state and help this state’s flagship school win a championship!! Congrats on the big win against Lowndes.

You're a Bama fan if

November 19th, 2011
6:33 am

You cut the grass in front of your trailer and found a car.

dawgerbrown

November 19th, 2011
6:43 am

If both these great athletes would become DAWGS, along with other recruits we have coming our way, UGA would build something special. All is takes is for Georgia kids to commit to their state University. One thing I’ve noticed, the kids playing for Georgia are having much more fun than those playing for Bama!

Baloneyismyfirstname!

November 19th, 2011
6:58 am

Go Where u r happiest, but try to make it Athens

NFL

November 19th, 2011
7:04 am

Georgia’s defense is ranked #4 in the country and all eleven starters will play in the NFL, several will be high picks plus they’re on the verge of winning a championship. This would be a great school for any top football recruit, especially on defense.

Paddy

November 19th, 2011
7:11 am

Mississippi@6:23am….People from Mississippi calling folks from Alabama “backward” or such, sorta opens you up to alot of well deserved, cruel humor, don’t you think? What could you have been thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason in Gainesville

November 19th, 2011
7:16 am

Nkemdiche and Clemons, UGA and the Bulldog Nation would welcome you warmly and look forward to you both playing for the Dawgs next year. Keep GA strong, stay in-state and for your local SEC powerhouse, the Georgia Bulldogs!

Paddy

November 19th, 2011
7:18 am

NFL……you are so right. If you are a top defensive player anywhere East of the Mississippi, you must give UGA at least a serious look. If that starts to happen, look out. You can’t sign them all but UGA always gets its fair share.

Nub

November 19th, 2011
7:24 am

Come to UGA and leave a legacy Georgian’s will be talking about for years….!!!!!! Believe the quality of your life will be better both before and after school… God …. Family … UGA….

Dawgbone

November 19th, 2011
7:35 am

Other visitors will be Ukeme Eligwe, a great linebacker and Todd Gurley, a world class track athlete and runninback out of North Carolina who is good friend with Keith Marshall. Also, Johnathon McCrary a great looking junior quarterback and some much needed lineman for next year, Dalvin Tomlinson on defense and some junior offensive lineman, Brandon Kublanow and Ngiel Phillips.

Nub

November 19th, 2011
7:43 am

Young Georgian’s stay in state and leave a lagecy of DFD’s…. We still talk about DJ Shockley…. Odell Thurman…. David Pollick…. Boss And Champ Bailey … Hinds Ward (bet u didn’t know he played Some QB at UGA)…. God …. Family ….. UGA….

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
7:53 am

nice@ rest of the sec—–dawgs are winners—————–tip of the hat to CARVELL

——–keep the stories on this guy coming——that means having your butt on the road to athens

——————no rest for the weary——————PS——who’s on top turd roll—-hahahahah

————-i hope bamma ends up facing us in the dome———maybe turd troll gets his

—————–shift off at wal-mart and heads home to his single wide in tuss-caa-loossa

hunkerdown

November 19th, 2011
7:55 am

Hey Robert,

I will be at the game also. Come watch #29 wreck havoc on Kentuck’s QB today. He will be under CTG tutelage getting a big pay check and playing on Sundays one day. CTG defense will give you opportunities just like JJ gets in games. Watch and see for yourself. Love for you to be a Dawg one day. Go Dawgs!

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
7:56 am

go dawgs———–georgia recruiting —————–dream team 2———-

—————turd roll and the tree killer nation just got a lucky break—-oak st lost last nite

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
7:58 am

cravell head to athens—follow up on this story

Bigdsel

November 19th, 2011
8:00 am

Come on to UGA Nkemdiche and Clemons

Brown Dog

November 19th, 2011
8:08 am

A couple of points:

The Bulldogs always seems to recruit late, just like FSU did under CMR’s mentor.

Cam, spent more time in your history class: Alabama had Andrew Zow, who led us to the SEC Championship in ‘99. We have Philip Sims as McCarron’s backup.

Say what you will about our trailer parks: Georgia is — and forever will be — the home of “Deliverance.”

dap01

November 19th, 2011
8:14 am

Be home state heros. Play for a team that is on the rise. Our coach does not oversign, Our coach will let you play 2 ways. And unlike Alabama, Georgia has cable tv.

Dawg Days!

November 19th, 2011
8:14 am

Good luck to both of these young men. Would love to see you in Athens! Go Dawgs!

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
8:15 am

get out of your deer stand turd roll

dap01

November 19th, 2011
8:16 am

If Saban was everything he tries to be, Alabama would have won more than 1 SEC Championship in his 5 years.

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
8:26 am

my sources reveal SABAN to TEXAS 10 million a year for 7 year contract——cry tree killer nation

BigGAdawg

November 19th, 2011
8:31 am

The short list for my version of the rest of Dream II is: Nkemdiche, Clemons, Jenkins, Marshall, Gurley, Dillon Lee, and as many top quality OL as we can get.

WOOF WOOF WOOF!

j

November 19th, 2011
8:32 am

to cam newton on alabama not having a black qb in thirty years 9 years ago buddy , andrew zow started twoyears, in 2000 2001

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 19th, 2011
8:32 am

ROBERT WILL LOVE UGA AND TODAY WILL SAY —-

“Damn right, I’m a DAWG” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KeepDreaming

November 19th, 2011
8:47 am

Oh yea big boy, come on, you know you want to be a Dawg!

Paddy

November 19th, 2011
8:48 am

This just in; Dish Network just named the “State Flower” of Alabama. Just know you Red Elephants are proud.

Rumor has it that Alabama congressmen are pushing hard for a new Chevy Vega plant to be built in Montgomery. Tort and personal injury lawyers are funding this piece of legislation.

tenn.DAWG

November 19th, 2011
8:52 am

Lets go men,be a part of something special in YOUR home state and GATA !!!

jose

November 19th, 2011
8:56 am

sure would be easy just to drive back home to get a good home cooked meal from mom. Also while youre there she could do the laundry. Just think about all your buddies coming to the games and hollerin for you like a big dawg would

BullDawg Rick

November 19th, 2011
9:08 am

The speed of both teams was off the chart..

Grayson is a team on a mission.. Mission?? UGA Dome & AAAAA championship..

I hope Nkemdiche’s performance put to rest any doubts of this young man’s character & abilities..

His teammates followed suit too.. Gangtackling all over the field..

Would look geat in Red & Black…..

All the Way to State!!

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
9:21 am

bamma state bird—–the crow—————-bamma state flag——skull and cross bones

Bama fan

November 19th, 2011
9:25 am

I’ll run over a deer on the dirt road in front on my trailer and we’ll have a big Thanksgiving dinner.

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
9:25 am

bamma state capital—————-a trailer painted with gold paint

KCG

November 19th, 2011
9:25 am

Would love to see Robert at the University of Flordia. But Robert needs to remember to look at what each college has to offer him besides football. Don’t forget what college is suppose to be about? What does he want to study and who has the best program?

Jborodawg

November 19th, 2011
9:28 am

I agree that Clemons projects better in the defensive backfield. AND, he could be used on returns and used some on offense; reverses and such.

Obviously, getting Nkemdiche would be a major coup. We can only hope.

“…The Bulldogs always seems to recruit late…” You must be British. Anyway, I beg to differ, with the likes of Theus, Taylor, Atkins et al, who’ve already committed. True, we don’t have the numbers….yet.

theswamp

November 19th, 2011
9:29 am

GATORS GATORS GATORS GATORS GATORS GATORS GATORS GATORS

Great idea!!

RedandBlackDAWG

November 19th, 2011
9:29 am

Beat Kentucky impressively today, Check.
Beat Tech, impressively next week, check.
Represent yourself well in the SEC championship game, Check.
Get a decent bowl game and win, Check.
Finish in the top 15 in the country, Check.
Sign Nkemdiche for nest year, Check.

All obtainable for this DAWG team.

GO DAWGS and GATA

bitter spoiled recruit

November 19th, 2011
9:32 am

i cant believe a ga_ytard fan show his shamefull face————its all about the dawgs

————–go back in your hiding hole—————-looooser

South gets a bad rap from media

November 19th, 2011
9:34 am

I personally am tired of the constant reference to Mississippi and Alabama (and other Southern states) as “backward,” a myth perpetrated by the mainstream media which is centered in the Northeast.

UGA fan here, but I do not like seeing our neighboring states slandered.

MIssissippi citizens are consistently near the top of the list when it comes to per capita charitable giving, while such bastions of civility and open-mindedness like Massachusetts are near the bottom.

What does it tell you when polls show that the South is the only region of the country where a majority of blacks think they are treated fairly?

What does the net migration of blacks back to the South from the midwest and northeast tell you? I realize some of that is economic-related, but if living conditions were so great in the north you would not see the numbers the way they are.

tide roll

November 19th, 2011
9:34 am

You’ll never compete for a National Title or, for that matter, consistantly compete for an SEC title until you commit to recruit toward re-creating, not destroying, what many feel is the best offensive line in not only the Conference, but the entire Country! The question Richt and Bobo should be asking themselves is: How can we best emulate a CORDY GLENN? The answer is : By signing Vadal Alexander, not Zach Debell. How can we best emulate a BEAN ANDERSON? Ans: By signing Brandon Green,not Greg Pyke. CHRIS BURNETTE? It was Joe Harris. KENARIOUS GATES? It was A.J.Harmon (who you ran off). These athletes were the answers, not the Theus, Debells,Longs, Andrews and Pykes. They’re not the ones to emulate who’s starting for you now, and Richt, Bobo, and all you UGA friends and alumni know it. You don’t want what you have now. Never have and never will. Look, the OT from N. Gwinnett is Richard Seymour’s son. The best OT in the South, Avery Young, from Palm Beach, is originally from Cuthbert and is Thomas Davis’ cousin. Look for Richt and Bobo to “blow it” and sign neither. They didn’t actually “blow it” because the truth is they don’t want them and neither do ya’ll. That’s the reality, isn’t it Dawg Fans. Why don’t you man up and admit it? It’s not about re-creating what you have now. It’s about avoiding having too many of what you have now. And that’s just sad. May you continue to be mired in mediocrity. It’s what you deserve.

Bama fan

November 19th, 2011
9:37 am

For Christmas I wish somebody would order me a new set of teeth off the Internet.