Robert Nkemdiche: Did Ole Miss sign his brother to get to consensus No. 1 prospect?

Does Ole Miss have inside position on the "consensus" No. 1 prospect in the nation? (AJC photo)

Does Ole Miss have inside position on the "consensus" No. 1 prospect in the nation? Alabama, UGA, Clemson and LSU are also in the chase (AJC photo)

Did Ole Miss sign Robert Nkemdiche’s brother last year just to put itself in better position to land the consensus No. 1 college football prospect in the nation for 2013?

There are plenty of rumors and speculation about that topic since it involves Robert Nkemdiche, who told the AJC he will leave on Friday to visit Ole Miss and watch his brother play in this weekend’s spring scrimmage.

Alabama and Ole Miss are considered the frontrunners for the 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive lineman from Grayson High School. Robert also has UGA, Clemson and LSU among his leaders. He is tentatively scheduled to announce on May 18.

Last spring, Denzel Nkemdiche, Robert’s brother, was a late academic qualifier out of Grayson. The speedy defensive back was hotly pursued by Ole Miss in late May, and committed shortly after returning from his official visit with the Rebels. It was a significant transaction because the boys’ parents would like them to play together in college.

Did Ole Miss aggressively chase after Denzel in order to get Robert? That’s what some message boards would have you believe.

“I’ve been scared to comment on anything like that because someone may think I’m talking about recruits,” Ole Miss first-year coach Hugh Freeze told the AJC, referring to NCAA rules that prevent him from publicly commenting on any prospective student-athletes.

The older Nkemdiche was signed by former coach Houston Nutt.

“All I can say is that I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Denzel,” Freeze said. “I wasn’t here when Denzel was signed but I can talk about him since he plays for us. Denzel has had a remarkable spring, and has one of the best attitudes and work ethics on our football team, so I’m thrilled to have him.”

Denzel was always considered a legitimate major-college prospect at Grayson but nowhere near in the same galaxy as his younger brother, who is considered a “once in a generation” prospect. However, Denzel may be on the way to exceeding expectations at Ole Miss. After being redshirted this past season, the older Nkemdiche is battling for a starting position in the Ole Miss secondary.

Hugh Freeze

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze will have another golden opportunity to court Big Rob this weekend (AP)

Back to Robert: Ole Miss has some stiff competition for the younger Nkemediche. Does Freeze think the Rebels can really recruit against anybody for the nation’s elite prospects?

“We’re going to think so … well, our staff is going to refuse to think any other way,” Freeze said. “I was here at Ole Miss [as recruiting coordinator from 2006-07] when we recruited Michael Oher, Dexter McCluster, Mike Wallace, Peria Jerry and Jerrell Powe — all who went in the NFL Draft. If we had thought any different, we would’ve never got those guys. We’re going to refuse to think any other way.”

When Robert visited his brother at Ole Miss in February, he was treated like a rock star. He got a standing ovation from Ole Miss fans when he walked into the baseball stadium for a game. Nkemdiche was overwhelmed by the attention, and said it made him feel like “Michael Jackson.”

On Tuesday, Nkemdiche was announced as the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country by ESPN, an honor which had already been bestowed on him by Rivals, Scout and 247sports.com. He is the first-ever Georgia player to be rated as the country’s top prospect by any of the major recruiting services.

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171 comments Add your comment

Bama Fan#2

April 18th, 2012
4:01 am

Does a bear crap in the woods? Just kidding!!
If Robert wants to play Big Boys football he
should pick Bama or LSU. Clemson and
Ole Miss are a joke!! RTR

Crimson Mike

April 18th, 2012
4:32 am

I think Nkemdiche will sign with LSU. I don’t see him signing with Ole Miss unless something fishy is going on over there. If he’s dumb enough to go to Ole Miss, we don’t need him in T-Town anyway!!!

7576DAWG

April 18th, 2012
5:09 am

Denzel was played by Nutt and doesn’t even realize it. Denzel really thinks it was his idea. Approx. one month later when he finally qualified Georgia offered . I really think that CMR thought he was not going to qualify or he would have offered earlier but I really believe the Nkemdiche family blame Georgia for Denzel not ending up at Georgia. My question to the family is what more could Georgia have done. They offered a full scholarship to Denzel 7 or 8 months before signing day. How can you blame Georgia ? What Denzel didn’t take into consideration was if he had not qualified he wouldn’t have gone to Ole Miss either. I will admit that Ole Miss may have really wanted Denzel because his star ranking is about as high as Ole Miss ever gets except every once in a while if a home state recruit is above average. Surely , Denzel mainly went to Ole Miss because Nutt was the head coach. What other reason would he go? With Nutt gone I don’t see any reason why someone as good as Robert would ever consider Ole Miss.
Hopefully Robert will be smart enough to realize that he can show case himself a lot more with Georgia and I will admit or Alabama. But, going to Ole Miss makes no sense. In three years Robert will be maybe on the West coast any way, who knows what Pro team he will be on.. What is his parents going to do then. Time to grow up, Robert .

bitter "spoiled recruit"

April 18th, 2012
5:13 am

Who cares??———————————————lets talk about se_xy cheerleaders

poopdawg

April 18th, 2012
5:25 am

Have fun Robert at Ole Miss this weekend. 7576 sometimes its hard to understand why a recruit goes to a certain school, but Ole Miss does play big boy football also. If he chooses Miss then so be it i would have loved playing with a brother in college. UGA did nothing wrong here recruiting .

Mountain Dawg

April 18th, 2012
5:49 am

How long is the AJC going to flog this dead horse? Enough, already! Let’s move on!

Tampa Gator

April 18th, 2012
6:35 am

Bama, LSU, Georgia, Ole Miss, Texas. Good luck in this sweepstakes. It is good that he is announcing in May so this story goes away.

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
6:44 am

It just occurred to me that SEC Football is kind of like the Hunger Games. They take you when you’re 17 years old, treat you like a rock star and really want to get to know you. Then the season of games start…if you’re not the one left standing they criticize and mock you.

Paddy

April 18th, 2012
6:51 am

7576Dawg……Robert may want to go to Ole Miss for the academics. It is a better school than Alabama and LSU. He might just want to play with his brother. There are 2 reasons that make sense. Of course he will get exposure at Ole Miss. This is not the 50’s & 60’s where players went unnoticed. Good luck Robert. Hope you give the Dawgs a fair look!

Honest Ingine

April 18th, 2012
6:51 am

Least he wasn’t looking at Arkansas…Boy are they in trouble, losing their Off. Corr, to UAB head coaching job, and now Petrino…Two other coaches also left for head coaching jobs…

JB

April 18th, 2012
7:11 am

Was at the first Richt spring tour outing last night in Augusta. He’s pumped about the team, but showed his hand when ask about the offensive line. He said that the first week of spring ball had him concerned about the line but as the spring went on, he saw much improvement….But went on to say, I had to be reminded that they were going up against what many consider the best defense since I’ve been at Georgia, and that’s saying something. These guys baring injuries are gonna be special.

Beast from the East

April 18th, 2012
7:15 am

I’m losing track…is this story #23 or #24 on this kid?

JB

April 18th, 2012
7:20 am

AMEN to that Beast. Sometimes the hype is more than the results. We heard the same thing last year about Ray Drew who we signed, a man among boys and all that blah blah blah……And he couldn’t even crack out line up last year…..and Richt mentioned him last night and said he has come a long way…….. nothing like the recruiting hype as far as results go.

Thomas Brown

April 18th, 2012
7:22 am

That would be a pretty good move, if they did.

sleeze

April 18th, 2012
7:24 am

Tampa Gator, Unfortunately this story is not going away. He’s now not going to announce in May and may wait until after his senior year. Typical 18 year old who’s obviously enjoying all the hoopla and hype.

Game Changer

April 18th, 2012
7:24 am

2012 is the first time GA coaches learn where Gwinnett County is located. Quit bitchin about those top players that have been recruited for years and now going elsewhere. The SEC is strong again for the 2012 season, some of the lesser teams are improved greatly and those mid level taams, say 5 to 10 need to be careful, several of the bottom four can beat them.

John Gruden has turned into a “w”ussy the past several years, if he were truly a man’s man he would jump at the opportunity to coach in the SEC West and Arkansas who has great talent, great facilities improving to top tier and he would be able to garner great recruits from the south as well as texas. John Gruden has a chance to have the best job that will be offered over the next 5 years, not jumping and taking Arkansas job tells me he is a ?????.

GoBigDog

April 18th, 2012
7:29 am

Good point, Beast. Also, 7576 — I thought that Denzel was offered by UGA & Ole Miss, AFTER signing day (hence the term Late Qualifier).

Blackoutanyone?

April 18th, 2012
7:30 am

The kid is the #1 prospect in the nation. That is why MC has written numerous articles. UGA and UF fans take shots at the attention the kid is getting because they have not shot at signing him.

Douglas

April 18th, 2012
7:32 am

I’m tired of hearing about this guy. He’s not going to a school in the state of Georgia, so who cares what happens to him.

GoBigDog

April 18th, 2012
7:33 am

Hello blackout,,, all any of us can say to your post is: Perhaps,,,

alwaysonprobationanyone

April 18th, 2012
7:43 am

Drew and Crowell were Bama locks also….Right?

Paddy

April 18th, 2012
7:45 am

Honest Ingine………Yes Arkansas is in trouble. They will hire a coach from within their ranks this year. Petrino was not a factor in recruiting Georgia. HS coaches and players remember what a dog he was with the Falcons. This will hurt recruiting for at least 2 years, their fans are outraged at Bobby P.

GoBigDog

April 18th, 2012
7:48 am

You’re speaking pretty highly of Petrino, calling him a dog. In Louisville, even the sports talk hosts call BP an a-hole ;-)

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
7:57 am

MC…

It would be nice to replace your weekly Robert Nkemdiche articles for at least this week, and maybe talk about some of the prospects who are attending Spring games.

For example, Darius Curry declined attending the OK State Spring game on Saturday so he could atend the Friday night spring game at Tech. Jay Woods will also be there, among a host of other highly touted recruits. How about a story like that?

Typical Alabama fan

April 18th, 2012
8:03 am

Carvell, you hack!! No mention of Saban? It’s so obvious you’ve got it in for Saban. He’s the greatest coach in the country and yet not a word about him in your article.

Typical Alabama fan

April 18th, 2012
8:05 am

MC, you hack! Not a word about Saban in this article. It’s so obvious that you have it in for Saban. He’s the best coach in the country and yet not one word from you about him. You are so jealous.

Cats hav Fleas 2

April 18th, 2012
8:13 am

Would rather him come to UGA but if Alabama and Ole Miss are his top 2 I hope for his sake he goes to Alabama.

Home of the Champions

April 18th, 2012
8:15 am

2011 National Championship Players from Georgia

17
Parker Philpot
Defensive Back
JR
5-10/180 SQ Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton)
44
LaMichael Fanning
Defensive Line
FR
6-7/298 RS Hamilton, Ga. (Harris County)
19
Jonathan Atchison
Linebacker
JR
6-3/236 SQ Atlanta, Ga. (Douglass)
55
Josh Dickerson
Linebacker
SO
6-1/238 SQ Evans, Ga. (Lakeside)
47
Xzavier Dickson
Linebacker
SO
6-3/262 1L Griffin, Ga. (Griffin)
42
Adrian Hubbard
Linebacker
SO
6-6/248 1L Lawrenceville, Ga. (Norcross)
79
Austin Shepherd
Offensive Line
SO
6-5/312 1L Buford, Ga. (North Gwinnett)
65
Chance Warmack
Offensive Line
SR
6-3/320 3L Atlanta, Ga. (Westlake)
63
Kellen Williams
Offensive Line
JR
6-3/303 1L Lawrenceville, Ga. (Brookwood)
6
Blake Sims
Running Back
SO
6-0/212 1L Gainesville, Ga. (Gainesville)
84
Brian Vogler
Tight End
SO
6-7/258 1L Columbus, Ga. (Brookstone)
33
Marcus Polk
Wide Receiver
SO
5-8/180 SQ Lithonia, Ga. (Woodward Academy)

Lowcountry Bulldawg

April 18th, 2012
8:26 am

Rather than beating the deadhorse here is the link via ESPN on the Top 48 players in Ga. for the class of ‘13.

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/playerrankings/_/state/georgia/class/2013/view/state

DIT

April 18th, 2012
8:32 am

I would be totally shocked if the guy does not sign with Bama next February. I think UGA knows it because they are actively going after others. Good luck where ever he goes.

Unodawg

April 18th, 2012
8:36 am

There are as many articles on Nkemdiche as Bama has NC trophies.

Uh, what’s that…Bama just had one broken.

Oh, there are more articles on Nkemdiche now than Bama has NC trophies.

RHall55

April 18th, 2012
8:40 am

“Home of Champions” thanks for reminding UGA how many talented players have left the state to play for the “MACHINE”!!! If CRG had played the game right and offered Denzel earlier / and offered David Kamara his best friend, UGA may have had a great chance to land R Nkemdiiche, but no, CRG was slow as usual on making a proactive move (and w/ scholarships to give!!) BTW: AL is loving CWF @ UGA and not getting OL commits!!! C’mon Man, do your job!!!

SimpleDawg

April 18th, 2012
8:44 am

Did Ole Miss recruit Denzel to get Robert?

Absolutely.

Wish we had thought of it first.

JB

April 18th, 2012
8:45 am

Would like to see a Bama paper start a blog as to have a place for these holy Bama rollers to have a place to go and rejoice about Bama football. We don’t care about them here. And most of us remember that between Stallings and Saban they were pretty much floundering and very average….Hell, we beat up on them. Enjoy it, it won’t always be this way.

Game Changer

April 18th, 2012
8:45 am

Florida has thus far put together a tremendous class for 2013 and leads everyone in the SEC and that includes Alabama.

RHall55

April 18th, 2012
8:48 am

Just as a reminder for last year: CRG, your recruting efforts in the state of GA last year: you missed out on 7 of the top 10 players per Rivals / AJC; 16 of the top 20 per Rivals / AJC; 25 of the top 30 per Rivals / AJC; LET’S SEE HOW MANY TOP PLAYERS DECIDE TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE THIS YEAR!! C’mon Man, do your job!!! Also, my friend, Coach Will Friend, received 0, none, zilch, LOI’s from in-state OL last year!!! C’mon man, do your job!!!!

Game Changer

April 18th, 2012
8:54 am

RHall55: FAILURE AND LACK OF LEADERSHIP CONTINUES

SECIsFootball

April 18th, 2012
9:13 am

JB….Trust me, we remember the Dumbose, Francionne, Price and Stallings days too. Why do you think we are enjoying our current success so much now. Two National titles in 3 years and having the best coach in CFB will take away the hurt from those days?

Colonel Rebel

April 18th, 2012
9:17 am

Surprise Bammer fans will accuse Ole Miss of cheating if we get him and you don’t. Stay Classy Tide fans. Robert, this is a no brainer. You’ll be the big man on campus your entire career, and still get drafted in the 1st round if you play at Ole Miss. If you go to Alabama they’ll turn on you the first bad game you have. Worse yet, if you get hurt Saban will ask you to quit to open another scholly for the next #1 prospect he recruits. It will be much more satisfying to come to Ole Miss and help us beat those pompous pricks. Hotty Toddy!

BigTimeTechFan

April 18th, 2012
9:18 am

Word is that Nkemdiche is a silent verbal commit to Georgia Tech…………………

He’s commited to not going there

Paddy

April 18th, 2012
9:22 am

GoBigDog………Petrino can be called a dog or a__hole or any number of fitting titles. But since the “shoe fits” he will have some moniker the rest of his life. Look for him at Texas St or New Mexico St in the future. College presidents are fed up with these bozo’s, as well they should!

Game Changer

April 18th, 2012
9:34 am

Paddy: Petrino did nothing wrong – two consenting adults of age. ( petrino should have reimbursed the univ for 20k plus paid for her first year salary, plus one year salary for being released and continued on as coach for Arkansas )

90% of the people 40 years old or older have cheated on their spouse or their spouse has cheated on them or both for that matter. One or both have taken househole funds and spent with the other individual. Those of you who think otherwise are in total DENIAL.

Religious freaks are always the first to judge others and live in denial!

Bama Fan#2

April 18th, 2012
9:38 am

When MSU and Southern Miss are better than Ole $iss you
know your program is a BOTTOM FEEDER!!! If RN can
not figure that out then he must go to school on the short
bus. RTR

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
9:38 am

“90% of the people 40 years old or older have cheated on their spouse or their spouse has cheated on them or both for that matter. One or both have taken househole funds and spent with the other individual. Those of you who think otherwise are in total DENIAL. ”

Game Changer…

The logistics of this claim (let alone the factual source not being evident) alone makes it implausible…Imagine how much our economy would grind to a hault even further if 90% of the adults out there were NOT where they were supposed to be…

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
9:40 am

“Word is that Nkemdiche is a silent verbal commit to Georgia Tech…………………

He’s commited to not going there”

BTTF…

I will laugh my you-know-what-off if in 3-4 years Robert Nkemdiche isn’t drafted higher than 16th (where Derrick Morgan was drafted) in the NFL Draft.

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
9:46 am

If you think Petrino’s termination had anything to do with an affair, Game Changer, then you’re not very smart.

A person SMART enough to know......

April 18th, 2012
9:48 am

Can Anybody name the Last 5 #1 in the nation recruits. Tell us where they are and how well they are doing.

DawginLex

April 18th, 2012
9:49 am

WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Game Changer

April 18th, 2012
9:51 am

fl jacket: as a supposed top ten math school in the world, you should have a clue right:

Take the % number of women who admit to playing around, Take the % men who admit to playing around, take the % of divorces and marriages by age 40 or 50 and guess what, 90% of people have cheated.

nh gamecock

April 18th, 2012
9:52 am

Florida standout set to see Vols again

Austin Price
VolQuest.com

Yulee, Fla. running back Derrick Henry is taking in the recruiting process. He is making his second trip to Knoxville in a month this weekend. The Georgia commitment is obviously interested in the Vols and this weekend could be big if the Vols are going to have a chance to sway him from the Dawgs.