Robert Nkemdiche: Nation’s No. 1 prospect officially delays college decision

DE Robert Nkemdiche will announce his college decision after Grayson's spring game on May 18 (AJC)

DE Robert Nkemdiche will probably announce on or around National Signing Day in February (AJC)

Everybody will have to wait a little longer for the nation’s No. 1 football prospect to make his college decision.

Robert Nkemdiche told the AJC that he has officially pushed back his tentative announcement on May 18 to a later date.

“I’m just not ready yet,” Nkemdiche said. “This is one of the biggest decisions of my life. I want to go see some new places, and go back to some other places to spend more time with the coaches and to check out the campuses. It’s a big decision, and I want to get it right.”

Nkemdiche’s coach, Grayson High School’s Mickey Conn, endorsed his star player’s delay. “Robert wants to take more visits and get to know the coaches … you know, get a good feel for it before he makes his decision.”

So when will Nkemdiche decide? He’s not going to set another tentative date just yet. But it looks like it will be on or around signing day in February 2013.

“I’m probably going to try to take all my official visits, and then pick the best school,” Nkemdiche said. “I probably won’t take any visits during the season because I want to stay focused on my main goal — and that’s helping our team win another state championship. I’ll probably wait until after the season and then go visit schools and stuff.”

Said Conn, “I think Robert will probably take all of his visits and it will probably play out until signing day. It could always change, but that’s a likely scenario.”

Nkemdiche prediction?

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Which college leads for Nkemdiche? He does not proclaim any favorites but Alabama and Ole Miss (where his brother plays) are considered the co-leaders. Clemson, UGA and LSU are also in the mix, and Nkemdiche has mentioned interest in visiting other schools such as Southern Cal, Texas, Oregon, Mississippi State and Florida.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end is ranked as the country’s No. 1 prospect by all four main of the recruiting services – ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports.

Grayson, the defending Class AAAAA state champions, kicks off spring practice this week. Grayson has 6-9 seniors that could sign D1 scholarships and many of them were just hoping that Nkemdiche would wait until at least before the end of spring practice (May 18) to make his college decision, so scouts would stop by. Now Nkemdiche’s teammates will get exposure this spring and during the upcoming season.

What does this mean for UGA? The delay couldn’t be anything but good news for UGA, which is currently considered a longshot for Nkemdiche. This will give the Bulldogs time to make another run at the 5-star prospect. UGA was in about the same position (or worse) with Jordan Jenkins this time last year and ended up pulling off a shocking recruiting upset over Alabama. UGA assistant Bryan McClendon is in charge of recruiting Grayson but I would guess that you’ll see the Bulldogs throw a little more of their ace recruiter (defensive coordinator Todd Grantham) at Nkemdiche – just like they successfully did with Jenkins. What’s your prediction? How do you feel about UGA’s chances? Please post below.



– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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118 comments Add your comment

Hubie Green

May 7th, 2012
1:10 am

No reason to rush into a decision if he is not ready! Another top prospect did pretty well at UGA, Hershel Walker. What position will he most likely play in college?

Dawg Tiredd

May 7th, 2012
1:11 am

Robert, I hope you stay home and play for a fine Christian man like Mark Richt. Unlike Nick Saban, he is a man of integrity and really cares for his players. I hope you visit Georgia’s campus and talk to Coach Richt’s players about what a wonderful man he is. If you do decide to sign somewhere else, I hope it is anywhere but Alabama. God bless!


May 7th, 2012
1:13 am

first. Hope he goes to the dogs.


May 7th, 2012
1:15 am

Get ur facts straight Herschei was not a number 1 prospect. Hilarious !!!!


May 7th, 2012
1:15 am

O.K., second. Still hope he goes to the dogs, but I doubt it. It’s a shame we can’t get all the top players in the state. Why don’t they stay home? Why is that Georgia and Tech can’t get all the best players in the state?


May 7th, 2012
1:23 am

The delay is very good for us. Our defense will be so good…….I want him to watch it……longer…..c’mon

Crimson Crush

May 7th, 2012
1:34 am

Excellence has it’s own standard . We can wait ;-)

Thomas Brown

May 7th, 2012
1:55 am

How did we really do in-state 2012 in signing recruits, say compared to what Alabama with Kirby Smart and Nick Saban, did ?

Neutral May 6th, 2012 12:14 pm

“@Joey, The issue is Charlie Brown…..I mean Thomas, says the same thing over and over and over again. He is correct on points, but never focuses on anything positive. I commanded troops during Vietnam and I can tell you with certainty that his type of personality was poison to a military unit. Everything is negative and doomsday. Again, my complaint with Mr Brown is his constant harping on negatives and repeating the same comments day after day.”
I simply replied directly to RugbyDawg May 6th, 2012 3:30 am.
Then, I asked what is a very simple question, and here is what we get. No, I’m not wrong; in fact, I am correct you state.

The question is sir, what is so all fired blazing great about what we’re doing ?

Go ahead.


May 7th, 2012
2:35 am

JT, I remember when herschel was being recruited, he was one of the top recruits in the country that year. Everybody wanted him. He turned out to be the best player in the nation during his time at UGA. lest we forget.

Vinning Dawgs

May 7th, 2012
2:37 am

Frankly who cares? One person doesn’t make a team. If the Core GA Players stay in State, then the State will also be a power house. How do you think the other State Schools in other states like Florida, Texas, Ohio, Michigan and California win National Championship? Their core plays stay in State. Please, don’t beg any of this kids to stay in state. If they want to leave then leave. I am so tired of reading all this drama. Good luck Robert, remember you are Nigerian.


May 7th, 2012
4:02 am

That’s the first smart thing that he has done. Maybe there is hope that he’s not just a dumb jock. Foster should have waited, I certainly would have. First I want to see what Alabama and Georgia does this year . Georgia is losing a lot of their defense to graduation and if Grantham follows up with an even better year than he did last year Nkemdiche would be a fool not to have them at the top. He would easily start as a Freshman.Same thing about Alabama. I would want to see if Alabama’s coaching staff stays in tack.
With Southern Cal being on probation with a severe reduction in scholarships it would be a major accomplishment for them to end up in the top 10 but there is no way in he@@ I would ever play for a major s.o.b. like Kiffin.

Crimson Crush

May 7th, 2012
5:17 am

@ Fake Jake

How lame . Put the word “crimson” in a user handle and then spew off a string of silly negatives about a recruit to try and poison a kid’s opinion . No wonder you clowns can’t get your act together at the program level . The fan base mentality is borderline junior high school level in sophistication 8-)

Crimson Crush

May 7th, 2012
5:23 am


Coaches have left and arrived at Bama every year . The only coach that ultimately matters to the program’s overall success and continuity is Saban … and he isn’t going anywhere . It is nice that UGA has aspirations to one day have a defense that is able to operate close to Alabama’s level but don’t kid yourself on who runs the show …


May 7th, 2012
5:25 am

Crimson Jake So glad you clued me in Robert N.. I bet you have never seen the guy play . All three of the recruiting services had him ranked as the # 1 player in the nation You say you know his kind and what kind would that be? From your commits I doubt if you could tell a football player from a astronaut! Sure glad you let me in on him being OVERRATED now why don’t you tell Saban and have him to stop wasting his time on a overrated recruit.


May 7th, 2012
6:26 am

Gary I believe that Herschel Walker was the #1 recruit in the nation like you said. The #2 running back that year was Lennie Patrick from Jasper Ala Herschel was a great Freshman Player and then it was all down hill from there. He turn out to be a bust in the pros, but i think he did better than Lennie Patrick I don’t think Lennie P even made it to the Pros. too much of the me 1st non-sense. I think Bear Byrant said I would give anything to be able to get inside that young man head. If Lennie wasn’t running the football he didn’t want to block or carry out a fake he just wanted to carry the ball are you could forget about him helping the play suceed..

Tampa Gator

May 7th, 2012
6:48 am

Do you think Mark “fine Christian man” Richt will will a national championship when he has a team full of “fine Christian” recruits? Of course, no other SEC coach comes close to the integrity that Richt has….right Tirred Dawg? No doubt, Jesus is a Dawg….when he isn’t watching NASCAR.


May 7th, 2012
6:49 am

I am hearing Saban is leaving for the Dolphins job.


May 7th, 2012
6:50 am

Where is Rodney Garner in this process? His laziness has to be questioned: only getting 3 of the top ten in the state last year, 4 of the top 20 in the state last year, and 5 of the top 30 in the state last year;all of the SEC loves for CRG still being the recruiting coordinator; if CRG had worked and done some roster management, UGA would have had a better shot @ RN and RF!! C’mon Man do your job!!!

bitter "spoiled recruit"

May 7th, 2012
7:22 am

@rhall69—————-dumb troll garner and the rest of the coaching staff got 8 out of the top 10

——————–in 2010—-dream team remember turd———————-you cant stop the saban aid —-

—————————every year


May 7th, 2012
7:43 am

I think this kid is starting to love the limelight and enjoys the attention and stringing folks out. If he committed on May 18th then all the attention would be off him until next February. I would love to sign him, but let’s not kill ourselves over 1 recruit at the expense of others.


May 7th, 2012
7:45 am

Kinda reminds me of that Clown guy at SC who played this game past national recruiting day!!!

Oldschool Hawg

May 7th, 2012
7:46 am

Great size, yes…good player, yes. Wasted pick of #1 recruit in the nation, yes. We handled him all night with a guy that’s gonna walk on at Georgia and take someones job!


May 7th, 2012
7:47 am

Mississippi State would be a perfect fit for him,,


May 7th, 2012
7:48 am

According to Evans, Saban walked over to James as he was convulsing outside the team’s locker room following the first two-a-day practices of camp.

“We had about a three-hour-plus practice in the morning in that South Florida sun,” Evans said.

“Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billy goat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room. Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.

“Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.” Evans said Saban called a team meeting later that night and told players: “ ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Jeno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’ ”

Read more here: your comments here

Beast from the East

May 7th, 2012
7:53 am

If he’s not 100% sure of where he wants to go, then he should delay his decision. Better to do that than flip-flop late in the process like some kids do. I applaud the young man for taking his time. Who knows, maybe the Gators can steal him away. My money’s still on Ole Miss.

Herschel Walker?

May 7th, 2012
7:56 am

good lord – the UGA board has to reference players from 30 years ago? Notre Dame had Joe Montana back in the day. and the Four Horsemen.

irrelevancy, thy name is Uga

[...] top-rated prospect is expected to make his announcement on May 18. Robert Nkemdiche told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he is not ready to make his decision just yet and that he wants to see some other places [...]

Crimson Crush

May 7th, 2012
8:05 am

Love the whiny a** Auburn player crying about “mean old Coach Saban” . As Paul Harvey used to say “And now … the rest of the story ….

…. Evans signed with the Miami Dolphins in the spring of 2005.[2] While in Miami, Evans was re-united with former Auburn tailback Ronnie Brown (with whom he was a team-mate in 2000), but was cut six weeks into the season. … ;-)

Dawg Fan in Grayson

May 7th, 2012
8:09 am

Coach Conn wants Nkemdiche to weigh out all options before making his choice because he wants him to make ONE committment.


May 7th, 2012
8:10 am

He’s a lock to BAMA.


May 7th, 2012
8:11 am

If Mark Richt is a “Christian” I am Mitt Romney. He’s going somewhere when he dies….but it won’t be up.

Moobs Johnson

May 7th, 2012
8:19 am

Delaying the announcement is hardly a surprise. He has signing day prima donna drama written all over him. Let the bidding war$ begin…

Huey Honoré

May 7th, 2012
8:19 am

Robert, I hope you stay home and play for a fine Christian man like Mark Richt. Unlike Nick Saban, he is a man of integrity and really cares for his players.

Whoa, I have to call BS on that. Most people recognize Richt as the biggest sleazebag coach in the SEC. You’ve been hitting the Kool-Aid too hard, fella!

Name (required)

May 7th, 2012
8:22 am

He’s waiting to see if someone will offer a better deal on his softball scholarship.


May 7th, 2012
8:22 am

I hope this kid is taking a serious look at all his options and not just dragging it out for the attention. Ego’s play a large part in some recruits mind and like all the attention. He might not be willing to give it all up because once he commits the attention, for the most part, goes away.
Still, I would be shocked if he did not sign with Bama though I’d love to see him in red & black.
Good luck young man.

Whisky Breath

May 7th, 2012
8:24 am

What does this mean for Ga? Mike get’s to put a spin on it for his Ga fans. I guess there is some unwritten rule that you keep the suspense rolling while giving the dog fans encouragement. AJC 101. But I give you one thing Mike, you never said that Ga was leading. Pretty slick move where you don’t get nailed.

Ogeechee Dawg

May 7th, 2012
8:34 am

A couple of things:
1. Good for this kid in delaying his decision if he is not ready. Why? He does not owe any fan of any school anything. He needs to make the best decision that fits into what he and his family want.
If he decides to play for UGA – a program on the upswing with a retooled defensive staff and in position to challange the SEC and national elite – awesome. If not, that’s just fine – he needs to find the best fit for him.

2. Regarding in-state talent and UGA:
The peach state is loaded with talent – and with border schools like FSU, Florida (yes Gainesville is pretty dang close to the FLORIDA/GA state line), Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee (3-1/2 hours from downtown ATL), ALABAMA (3-1/2 hours from downtown ATL), and South Carolina – there are great options for kids to go to major state universities.
UGA will need to continue, what I think is a great recruiting strategy:
- recruit to your needs
- target in state athletes
- target out of state athletes that are as good or better than in-state.

As for only going after in-state kids – ask yourself this question:
What do Frank Sinkwich, Charley Trippi, Terry Hoague, Tim Worley, Rodney Hampton, Musa Smith, Terrell Davis, Mathew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, AJ Green, Orson Charles, Aaron Murray, Kwame Geathers, John Jenkins, Keith Marshall, Todd Gurley, John Theuss, The Weaver brothers – Eddie “Meat Cleaver” and Mike, just to name in few – have in common?

Again – it is important to go after in state kids – but just as important to not let a map boundry line determine who we go after for our football talent. I am all for state pride – but let me ask you this – when it is all said and done – who do you think will be the better pick-ups: Keith Marshall/Todd Gurley or Caleb King/ Washaun Ealey.


Robert Nkemdiche

May 7th, 2012
8:35 am

I will take my time and enjoy the process. I might as well enjoy some free trips and see places I haven’t seen before. I know I will be in T-town, but this is my opportunity to see different places. I am secure in the decision I make and there’s no need to worry.

UGA? Child, please. The best you can name is Herschel Walker? I wasn’t even born when he was in college. I have heard about him for 16+ years and UGA isn’t a top notch program any more. I mean, Coach Richt is a good guy and all, but I want to win and go somewhere besides the Music City Bowl.

Ogeechee Dawg

May 7th, 2012
8:39 am

@Huey Honore – Richt a sleeze bag? Funny. Nice try to get the natives restless – but these statements just make you look stupid.


May 7th, 2012
8:40 am

Never considered UGA in the running because Nkimdiche’s head coach is tight with Bummer but this delay won’t hurt. The best chance UGA has is winning the SEC championship. That might get the recruits attention away from Bummer.

A.B. Normal

May 7th, 2012
8:53 am

Nigerian!?!?!? Because he has an “ethnic sounding surname” right? Robert is an American, a focused student athlete, and a great role model for his team mates and fellow students. He will be a tremendous asset to whatever school he chooses after Grayson.


May 7th, 2012
9:02 am


Red Dawn

May 7th, 2012
9:15 am

After Robert’s dog and pony show WHO cares where the plays
college football. If he wants to play for NC’S pick the crimson
tide and if decides chasing tail at Ole Miss or any bottom feeder
program have at it!! RTR


May 7th, 2012
9:17 am

This is good… what your heart, is telling you and be a Dawg. Things are reascending in Athens Ga!!

Leye O.

May 7th, 2012
9:21 am

Robert Nkemdiche would and will be a great addition to our 2013 recruiting class! Robert has the size, experience, and athleticism to make an immediate impact on our defense by his freshman year and will complement our All- American linebacker, Jarvis Jones. Go Dawgs!!


May 7th, 2012
9:27 am

C’mon AJC. This is old news about RN and his delayed announcement date. How about a story about Brice Ramsey being named MVP of the Nike Camp in Charlotte and getting an invite to the Elite 11 Opening? You know… since that actually just happened over the weekend…

Dr. Don

May 7th, 2012
9:29 am

7576 – You hope the coaching staff stays “in tack”? You want them to remain dressed in riding equipment, saddles, blankets, reins, etc. Or were you referring to the equestrian coaches? I am guessing you meant “intact”.


May 7th, 2012
9:30 am

He is just playing the SYSTEM. Then will make a big show of it— look at my hats–which one is going to be.


May 7th, 2012
9:33 am

To Andy:

What have you been smoking? Herschel a one and done player in college? DId you happen to notice a Heisman in his Junior year and if he would have played his Senior year, he would have broken all the current rushing records. You are a moron. Get your facts straight about the NFL too. He was a very good player and had many records in both the USFL and NFL. Also, it is kind of funny that ESPN rated him as the TOP running back and player ever in college.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

May 7th, 2012
9:44 am

Robert…Coach, I am all Bama but I would like to take these trips and have some fun.
Nick…have fun

Roll Tide….

Do leg humpers never tire of the Richt is a great man BS? Why not hire Franklin Graham.