Robert Nkemdiche: UGA may be close to cracking Top 5 after visit

Robert Nkdemiche, the nation's No. 1-ranked overall prospect for 2013 (AJC photo)

Robert Nkdemiche, the nation's No. 1-ranked overall prospect for 2013 (AJC photo)

Robert Nkemdiche, ranked as the nation’s No.1 overall prospect for 2013, toured UGA’s campus for a few hours over the weekend.

Nkemdiche liked his visit to UGA. He didn’t like it enough yet to include the Bulldogs in his top five of Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Florida and Florida State. But it appeared that UGA gained some ground.

“It went good,” Nkemdiche told the AJC. “They showed me around campus, and I got to talk with Coach Grantham, Coach Richt and the running backs coach. They basically showed me that they have a good academic program to better me after college in case I don’t make it to the league, and they talked to me about coming in and playing as a freshman.”

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound DE from Grayson High School said the UGA coach Mark Richt made a favorable impression. “He’s a good guy, a Christian leader, and just an all-around good guy … Coach Richt and the other coaches, they said that if I get there, I can get in as a freshman and be done in three years.”

Does UGA have a chance of cracking Nkemdiche’s top five? “They made a good boost on that. I’m not sure yet about the top five, but they’re in the mix. I will keep talking to them.”

Nkemdiche’s only other recent trip was to Alabama’s Junior Day. There are never-ending rumors that Nkemidiche is a “secret commitment” to Alabama but he repeatedly denies it. Nkemdiche, who often wears Alabama gear to school, said he plans to take five official visits and commit after his senior season.

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Ole Miss is a darkhorse candidate for Nkemdiche because his older brother, Denzel Nkemdiche, is a freshman DB after both qualifying and signing late with the Rebels last summer. The brothers have maintained that it’s their parents’ wish for them to play on the same team in college.

“Yes, I forgot to say that – I’m going to visit Ole Miss soon,” Nkemdiche said. “I would like to play again with my brother in college. Ole Miss is up there because of that, but I also want to go to the place that fits me the best and not just because my brother is there. My mom, she would like to see us at the same college, looking after each other. But she also told me whatever college fits me the best to go there.”

UGA may have blown a golden opportunity to gain inside position on Nkemdiche with the way they handled his brother’s situation. Denzel made it known that he wished to sign with UGA but he was aggressively pursued and signed with Ole Miss before UGA got seriously involved.

“Yes, that would’ve made a difference for me with Georgia,” Robert Nkedmiche said. “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.”

While Nkemdiche was at UGA, they offered one of his classmates, Grayson junior Wayne Gallman. “They offered me to play both sides of the ball at RB and either safety or OLB,” Gallman said.

  • RELATED: Zach Abolverdi, the recruiting writer and ProGators blogger for The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun,  said he got “called out too many times” after going 6 for 9 on his predictions involving Florida targets and had a lot to say in this column about the three he missed, including UGA signee Josh Harvey-Clemons: ” … If I’m told by UF commits that a prospect says he’s coming and the staff expects him, I’m going to predict Florida every time. I can’t help it if kids change their mind late or lie to recruits and coaches …”
If I’m told by UF commits that a prospect says he’s coming and the staff expects him, I’m going to predict Florida every time. I can’t help it if kids change their mind late or lie to recruits and coaches. And when they refuse to do interviews, all I can go by is what I’m being told.If I’m told by UF commits that a prospect says he’s coming and the staff expects him, I’m going to predict Florida every time. I can’t help it if kids change their mind late or lie to recruits and coaches. And when they refuse to do interviews, all I can go by is what I’m being told.

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678 comments Add your comment

l dog

February 12th, 2012
9:09 pm

James

February 12th, 2012
9:10 pm

CTG, GO GET HIM! Kid is the real deal.

Go Dawgs

The Bear

February 12th, 2012
9:12 pm

Dawg Mom

February 12th, 2012
9:14 pm

Robert, please don’t go to Alabama and play for that evil coach who lies to young men. Come to Georgia. It’s close to home, your mom and dad can come see you play, and you will love Coach Richt. He is a outstanding Christian man with a lot of integrity and honesty. The Bulldog Nation will be praying for you to make the best decision Robert. God bless!

hey bear

February 12th, 2012
9:15 pm

Roll tide roll……….down the tidy bowl

Dpdawgs

February 12th, 2012
9:18 pm

pick uga robert look what nick saban does to players if they get hurt he dis owns them and leaves them out 2 dry and be part of something with the DAWGS!!!!!

Bama Fan#2

February 12th, 2012
9:19 pm

Bama all the way!!!!!!!!!!! RTR

RollDog

February 12th, 2012
9:20 pm

The absolute arrogance and ultra-conservative position Richt and Garner take is killing UGA with many players by getting involved with too many players too late. This same thing happened with Dillon Lee and JaQuay Williams this season. Both kids would have easily signed with UGA. Now with Nkemdechie, Richt again was too late with hs older brother. Richt will never change his ways, and thusly, the Dogs will never sniff a title with him at the helm.

boykin

February 12th, 2012
9:24 pm

THE MAN TO GET..HANDS DOWN1

Rick James

February 12th, 2012
9:26 pm

Why do they start recruiting some of these kids so late?

Special K

February 12th, 2012
9:27 pm

He’s BAMA.

GHOST OF ERK RUSSELL

February 12th, 2012
9:27 pm

This one will come down to UGA and Alabama Todd Granthem will make a huge difference before this ones over.

Douglas

February 12th, 2012
9:28 pm

Rolldog: I have to agree with you. We are losing recruits from Georgia who are UGA fans because UGA is moving too slowly. We need to get rid of Garner after this season — he is more interested in feeding himself than recruiting.

Forget about it

February 12th, 2012
9:29 pm

He’s never going to Athens, forget about it and move on Dawg fans, still have a great class in2013. UGA dropped the ball with his brother.

boykin

February 12th, 2012
9:30 pm

Wont start as Frosh at Bamer or LSU…Oregon too far away…Ole Miss, Gators and FSU suck. He’ll fit in nicely with the DAWGS stout Grantham D!!!! He’ll be a DAWG!

David

February 12th, 2012
9:32 pm

This kid seems to be a drama queen, UGA not good enuff for his top 5. We will waste time and eforrt chasing this kid.

Reggie Ball

February 12th, 2012
9:32 pm

He definitely aint comin to Tech!

Big Crimson 75

February 12th, 2012
9:32 pm

100% Bama.
fughedaboutit.

boykin

February 12th, 2012
9:35 pm

UGABob, ur right David..too much talent in other states to go after a Bama confirmed #1.

Right On Time

February 12th, 2012
9:35 pm

It was over before it started. Kid wants to play for championships period. As much as I hate it, bammers would be closer to being able to provide that. Conn is all bammer. Lsu and maybe Oregon have a shot. I would love to see him shock everyone and go to FSU or Oregon.

Move on to Reuben Foster.

Slaw dawg

February 12th, 2012
9:37 pm

BIG cRim…save that comment..he’ll be in your backfield in 2 yrs!

boykin

February 12th, 2012
9:39 pm

Rueben will be a DAWG as well…Just wait Bamer boys!

Big Crimson 75

February 12th, 2012
9:39 pm

nah….we’ll have him @ jack-lb —- not running back!

bh

February 12th, 2012
9:42 pm

how many kids do we have to be “late” on before change occurs? I have always been a Richt fan, but his resistance to change is killing us. This is true in recruiting and in the reluctance to make coaching staff changes. Bobo should have been demoted two years ago and it took us two years too long to finally get rid of Martinez. I just don’t understand it.

Big Crimson 75

February 12th, 2012
9:43 pm

Boykin — UGA needed alot more than a “maybe in my top 5″ after this week-end.
Rueben is already Crimson.

Tide Rising

February 12th, 2012
9:44 pm

“He is an outstanding Christian man with honesty and integrity”-n Dawgmom

Unfortunately that apparently doesn’t translate over to his team which has more players either arrested or involved in contacts with the police than any other sec program by far. And a team which leads the conference and is near the top in the country every year in personal four penalties. And ya’ll talk about his “Christian” values. What a joke.

bucket

February 12th, 2012
9:47 pm

Robert is a great player and is playing the recruiting game wisely. He is not going to announce anything anytime soon because he is not going to hurt any of teammates opportunity to get noticed. But let’s please drop all this talk about UGA would have had a better chance if they had signed his brother crap. The UGA are not stupid and would have offered his brother in a heartbeat if they had thought that would have helped with Robert. They have done this on numerous occassions to secure other recruits. For the last time – THAT MADE NO DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!! MC you should know this and I don’t know why you keep saying it. The UGA coaches knew from talking to Conn and Robert that he was Alabama all the way. The UGA coaches are keeping in touch with Nkemdiche for 4 reasons: 1) He is probably the top player in this state coming out next year so you keep the door open. 2) Robert will only be swayed by a championship. Just in case that happens, they want to stay on his radar. 3) UGA is going to lose virtually their entire defensive starting unit after this year and Robert could step in from Day One and be an impact player in the 3-4 and who knows, he might change his mind and decide he doesn’t want to wait behind the guys on Alabama’s roster. 4) If GOD FORBID Robert is injured before or during his senior season they are gonna be on him in case Alabama cools on him.

Slaw dawg

February 12th, 2012
9:50 pm

75..lmao I mean tappin that Bama a..!

WnE

February 12th, 2012
9:50 pm

“UGA may have blown a golden opportunity to gain inside position on Nkemdiche with the way they handled his brother’s situation. Denzel made it known that he wished to sign with UGA but he was aggressively pursued and signed with Ole Miss before UGA got seriously involved.

“Yes, that would’ve made a difference for me with Georgia,” Robert Nkemdiche said. “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.””
_____________________________

This is NOT fair reporting & journalism in any way!

His older brother was a VERY LATE QUALIFIER, and at a school like UGA that doesn’t OVER-SIGN like U. Miss. did under Houston Nutt , then there was no way that UGA could hold a spot for his Brother without acting to the DETRIMENT of the UGA FB Program.

If you are going to include inflammatory and accusatory passages like the one above, then at least provide BALANCE and the other side of the story.

It is unfair to ask ANY HC (especially ones that DON’T OVER-SIGN) to hold open a spot for a non-Qualifier when there are other Recruits that are qualifiers that are just as good, when he did Qualify, UGA was again interested, but he wanted to go to Ole Miss.

Schools that DON’T OVER-SIGN cannot do what Ole Miss did with Nkemdiche’s older brother and that shouldn’t be held against UGA.

The family can still hold it against UGA, but the Print Media (the AJC) should not hold it against UGA by writing an article that doesn’t provide balance and give BOTH sides of the story.

And even though he is the #1 recruit in the country, he does take quite a few “plays off” in the Games that I have seen over the last 2 seasons, he doesn’t seem to have the “motor” of a Jadeveon Clowney when he came out of HS last yr. and went to USCe.

But the AJC shouldn’t tell half the story, and they should have also asked the TOUGH QUESTION about whether it is fair to expect UGA to hold open a scholly for their Brother when he was the one that was very late to qualify.

Michael Carvell

February 12th, 2012
9:51 pm

@WNE, thanks for your post. Please go back and re-read the article. UGA’s Mark Richt did not need to hold a scholarship open for Robert’s older brother. His brother really didn’t have the opportunity to take a spot anywhere until May because he qualified late. In May, UGA had a few scholarships open up by then because of normal attrition — and nothing to do with the “Dream Team” class from the previous February. They could’ve easily signed Denzel and probably would’ve, if it wasn’t already basically a “done deal” between Ole Miss and Denzel by the time UGA got serious. FWIW, I don’t know whether or not it will help Ole Miss with Robert but I think it would’ve helped UGA’s chances tremendously with Robert. It still looks like UGA has a decent chance, and it’s long way until February 2013.

5150 UOAD

February 12th, 2012
9:51 pm

Dawgmom…go bake some freaking cookies and do the dishes. You really not need to be here whining and begging for the kid to pick the Coach of the Athens Clarke County Jail All Stars.

boykin

February 12th, 2012
9:52 pm

Big Crimson…article is their opinion…”top 5″ dont mean crud to me…Big boy will be playin 20 miles up the road!!!!!

Tide Pride

February 12th, 2012
9:53 pm

UGA will get Nkemdiche and Foster. The top 2 recruits in the Peach State and in the nation.

UGA is a good program – but rarely a great program….just like Auburn. Always fighting for national respect and celebrate if they finish ranked. At Alabama, it is a given that we belong in the Top 10…….every year. Hey, all programs go through rebuilds – even Alabama. However, UGA fans have an embellished sense of how successful their program is historically. UGA = Clemson – a good program that has a great streak that lasts for a year or two – then back to keeping their head above mediocrity.

Players like Foster and Nkemdiche are the elite and belong at schools like Alabama, USC, Ohio State….. not UGA.

Big Crimson 75

February 12th, 2012
9:53 pm

slaw — no sh!t

bucket

February 12th, 2012
9:53 pm

@ Tide Rising – so if your kids do something that you don’t approve of that will invalidate your personal values and Christian character? You know what I know friend – every team has bad apples. There are the caught and the uncaught. There is the reported and the unreported. There is the covered and the uncovered transgressions. With the culture in Tuscaloosa do you think any cop wants to be the guy that arrests an Alabama player and costs the Tide an opportunity for a championship? That cops wife would leave him, his dog would pee on his foot when he came home, his children would want a new daddy, his church would vote him out, and he would get his trees poisoned. Get real dude.

ATL Sports Fan

February 12th, 2012
9:54 pm

Doesn’t matter if UGA signed his brother. He is not going to Ole Miss.

boykin

February 12th, 2012
9:56 pm

Speak of the TROLL himself!!!! 5150 in da hoooouse back from watching “Who killed JR” in Mamas basement…and still runnin from my question to him! You and LakeDawg gettin out some dawg/jacket petroleum for this blawg?

Tide Pride

February 12th, 2012
9:57 pm

WnE – in fairness – you are correct and you did not mention that Ole Miss will sign partials where UGA will not let them in the door. However, UGA should have taken the chance and sent Denzel to GMC if he did not qualify.

Robert Nkemdiche is 95% lock to Bama – 5% to Ole Miss.

sick of bama rednecks in GA

February 12th, 2012
9:58 pm

@Tide Pride

Isn’t AL still on probation? AL is dirty, always has been dirty and always will be dirty. But idiots like you don’t care because you think you are part of their team.

The Bear

February 12th, 2012
9:58 pm

Hit dog whines evrytime! Keep it coming UGA fans! It’s all right when someone else is in the crosshairs of the AJC mis-information machine!

ROLL TIDE

ATL Sports Fan

February 12th, 2012
9:59 pm

Funny people say UGA dropped the ball with his brother. Ole Miss didn’t and he is not going there either. So what’s the point?

TAMMY war damn eagle

February 12th, 2012
10:03 pm

This is UGA blog!!! Bama boys get your piece of s… asse. on our Bama /war eagle blog. Yall got ur trophy after we lent it to ya!!!! Sorry sacks of….WAR DAMN EAGLE!

HubCityBammer

February 12th, 2012
10:07 pm

Lol, the top player in the state of Ga won’t even put uga in his top 5 after Richt & Co pull out the red carpet. Needless to say he’s Bama bound. Him and Foster will be apart of one of the best defenses in Bama’s history.

Tide Pride

February 12th, 2012
10:07 pm

Tide Rising – low blow dude. Richt trys to lead by example and shows some tough love. He gives these young men opportunity but the reality of it is – most of these players do not have live in fathers – single parent homes – and raised in challanging environments.

If anything – Richt has been a little too nice – but he is figuring it all out. Players need to revere the HC. Saban will not put up with that crud – and Richt needs to be a more strict. Even Urban Meyer had his issue.

It’s pretty easy to the dog fans riled up – just tell them the truth that historically speaking – with the exception of the Frank Sinkwich/ Trippi years and H. Walker years – when was UGA really a great program. For the most part UGA has been a good program – but fall short of being a great program and always seem to be a heartbeat away from being average.

HubCityBammer

February 12th, 2012
10:08 pm

Thank you Mickey Conn! You the man!

boykin

February 12th, 2012
10:09 pm

His brother isn’t worthy of the Red and Black..this is no package deal…Robert is the man..Sabian thinks hes got him but Grantham/CMR/Garner will pull him in!

Blackoutanyone?

February 12th, 2012
10:15 pm

Didn’t even crack the top 5? Bwaaaaaa haaaaa haaaaa. Even the AJC Jawja homer couldn’t spin this article to cover CMR. CMR gives Cootie a scholly when no other d1 school would to land crowell, yet waited too late to offer the BROTHER of the #1 recruit in the nation? Thank god jawja has CMR! Please get that extension signed. Roll Tide!!!!

HubCityBammer

February 12th, 2012
10:16 pm

@boykin-you’re delusional. The top instate player just visited and didn’t put uga in his top 5 after Richt pulled out all the stops. But to you this means Richt will land him. You guys have a long way to go. And not to mention his mentor is Mickey Conn, UA alum and former player. Yeah, he’s going to uga. Bwahahahaha!

Big Crimson 75

February 12th, 2012
10:19 pm

boykin — I agree 100% on the package deal aspect.
Bama lost Keenan Allen 2 years ago b/c we wouldn’t take his brother — Cal did.

Big Crimson 75

February 12th, 2012
10:21 pm

Of course — not taking Keenan Allen didn’t exactly dent the Rolls !!!