Robert Nkemdiche: No. 1 prospect hoping Clemson offers another Grayson teammate

The No. 1 college football prospect in the nation says his commitment to Clemson is a “done deal” if the Tigers offer one more of his Grayson High School teammates, safety Ryan Carter.

“I am waiting on Clemson to offer Ryan; when that happens, it’s locked … it’s a done deal … it’s over,” Robert Nkemdiche told the AJC.

Nkemdiche says the primary reason he picked Clemson over LSU and Alabama, among others, was because the Tigers already had commitments from his two his Grayson teammates, RB Wayne Gallman and DB David Kamara. Also, earlier this week, former Grayson QB Nick Schuessler decided to give up his football scholarship to Mississippi State to be a preferred walk-on at Clemson (Nkemdiche has lived with Schuessler’s family at times).

The only person missing in the Grayson-to-Clemson pipeline is Ryan Carter, according to Nkemdiche.

This picture is priceless for Clemson fans: Dabo Swinney (center) with the nation's No. 1 prospect (left) and David Kamara. (Note: This photo was owned and submitted by the Kamara family. It was not owned, arranged, publicized or distributed by Clemson)

Robert Nkemdiche wants another high school teammate, Ryan Carter, in this photo, too (Note: This photo was owned and submitted by the Kamara family. It was not owned, arranged, publicized or distributed by Clemson)

Who is Ryan Carter? He’s a 5-foot-10, 175-pound defensive back who already has early football scholarship offers from Ole Miss, Georgia State, Tulane, Arkansas State and Southern Miss.

“He’s so hard-nosed,” Nkemdiche said. “He comes up and hits anybody. It doesn’t matter how big you are. He will come and hit you. That’s what I like about him. He plays with a high motor and is a great football player … Of course, I’m surprised he doesn’t have more offers. I’m waiting on him to get that offer from Clemson so he can come join the family.”

“Clemson said they like Ryan a lot and that he’s at the top of their board. Yes, sir, if Clemson offers Ryan, it would seal the deal. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. David and Ryan, those guys are like family. They are like brothers to me. I’m close to them. We’ve had success playing football together and I don’t want to change it.”

Carter said he’s had limited contact with Clemson but would probably commit rather quickly if they offered a scholarship. “Yes, because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, to play with Robert in college. I’ve been best friends with David and Robert since the eighth grade. We’re like family.”

This is where it gets interesting: What if Clemson does not offer Ryan Carter?

Nkemdiche did not say he would de-commit  or make any demands — other than to say it will make him look at perhaps the only school left in the high-stakes race at this point, Ole Miss, where Nkemdiche’s older brother plays college football.

Coincidentally, Ole Miss offered Ryan Carter a scholarship the day after Nkemdiche committed to Clemson. “If Clemson doesn’t offer Ryan, it would make me look at Ole Miss a little more, it would,” Nkemdiche said. “It’s very important that I have my boys with me.”

Said Carter, “Yes sir, we’ve all talked about going to Ole Miss together if that doesn’t work out with Clemson. Robert’s brother is there, and he’s definitely trying to get us to go there.”

Note: Nkemdiche also said he will definitely take an official visit to Ole Miss this fall to see his brother play.  By the way, what was Denzel Nkemdiche’s reaction when his younger brother picked Clemson?

“He was like ‘I’d like you to come play with me at Ole Miss, but you have to do what’s best for you,’” Robert said.

Then there’s LSU, which Nkemdiche listed as his runner-up when he committed to Clemson. LSU was Kamara’s initial dream offer, but it never happened. LSU appears to be a longshot at this point.

“It’s real out there at LSU but they didn’t have any of my boys going there,” Nkemdiche said. “I didn’t feel like I would fit in there.”

What if LSU suddenly offers Kamara? “I don’t think it will change my mind at this point,” Nkemdiche said. “I feel like Clemson is the perfect fit for me for so many reasons. I hope they offer Ryan.”

If Clemson offers this guy, Robert Nkemdiche says it's a "done deal" for him to sign with Clemson (GraysonRamsFootball.com)

If Clemson offers this guy, Robert Nkemdiche says it's a "done deal" for him to sign with Clemson (GraysonRamsFootball.com)

Clemson fans can credit David Kamara for Nkemdiche committing to the Tigers. Nkemdiche knew relatively little about the program and wasn’t even really considering them until Kamara convinced him to accompany him to a few unofficial visits to Clemson this past spring.

“I just went up there a couple of times and I started liking it,” Nkemdiche said. “My boy David committed, and they liked Ryan. I want them to come with me. It feels like family at Clemson. The atmosphere is crazy. I liked it.”

Perhaps secondary in Robert’s attraction to Clemson was the spiritual connection to Dabo Swinney and the rest of the coaching staff. “I feel like God has blessed me in so many ways,” Nkemdiche said. “I feel like [Swinney] is really into God. And I feel like God can use me in so many ways that I could never imagine.”

When Nkemdiche visited Clemson last month, he was thinking about committing but didn’t know for sure until arriving on campus. After committing to Clemson, Swinney gave him the chance to back out of it. “He was like ‘Are you sure this is your final decision? Are you sure you are ready?’ I was like this is where I want to be, especially since my boys were coming along with me.”

If Clemson offered Ryan Carter, there would be the perception that it was a 5-for-1 package deal for Nkemdiche.

However, Grayson coach Mickey Conn said that’s not the case at all — that Nkemdiche’s best pals, Carter and Kamara, are legitimate D1 prospects. (Wayne Gallman is a 4-star talent who was recruited by most of the Southeast’s top programs)

“If Clemson offers Ryan, it won’t be because of Robert,” Conn said. “It will be because of Ryan. Colleges aren’t offering guys because of Robert. Well, there’s a little bit of influence [to get their film evaluated], I’m sure. But those guys are talented in their own right.

“Ryan Carter is extremely talented. You’re talking about a guy who runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. I timed him at 4.3 If you go back to the state championship game, that star running back committed to Alabama [Walton High School’s Tyren Jones], he had -19 yards rushing at halftime. A big part of that was our safeties, Ryan Carter and Kasey Gaines, coming up from the safety spot and hitting [Jones] in the backfield before he even got started.

“Ryan plays safety for us, but he can play a number of different positions, including wide receiver and cornerback. He has got great hands. He’s great with the ball in his hands. He returns punts. In the state championship game, he returned that long punt that put us in position to kind of put that game away right before halftime. He’s a very, very talented kid.”

Robert Nkemdiche is beloved by teammates for getting looks for them by colleges (AJC)

Robert Nkemdiche may have the spotlight on him, but he's used it in an unselfish way to request that colleges look at several of his high school teammates (AJC)

What about David Kamara? “That’s not a free scholarship just because he’s buddies with Robert. That kid can play, too. You take a look at his highlight film and you see all you need to see. The guy is a physical specimen at corner and he’s got great speed. He runs a 4.5 and changes direction really well. Another great thing that people don’t realize is how long his arms and legs are … extremely long.”

Grayson could have as many as 8-9 seniors sign D1 scholarships this year, and Conn gives a lot of credit to Nkemdiche, who mentions his teammates to college coaches when talking them.

“All these colleges come by our school to see Robert, and when they get here, they watch the film and see that we have other kids that can  play, too,” Conn said. “When your defense gives up 500 yards rushing in 15 games, there’s some talent there.

“These colleges have 25 scholarships or so. They’re not going to just give them out to get Robert. They’ve got to be able to play, and these kids can play.”

UPDATED: On late Friday night, Nkemdiche tweeted “I don’t like the ajc twisting up my words.” I then contacted Robert to see what specifically he was referring to in this article, where he felt like was misinterpreted, and offered to make any clarifications. With this story being picked up nationally, Nkemdiche was apparently upset with how he had been portrayed in some of the other blogs and on message boards. “I didn’t say if Ryan didn’t come [to Clemson] I won’t” — which is true. We reported that a Clemson offer to Ryan Carter would make Robert’s commitment a “done deal,” which is what he had said repeatedly in our previous interview. Despite his Clemson commitment, Nkemdiche is still being pursued by many other suitors because of his elite prospect status. Colleges will be trying to convince him to talk with their coaches and visit their campuses until signing day. With the “done deal” comment, Big Rob wasn’t making demands out of Clemson, but rather simply trying to help a teammate get a good look. (On a personal note, I thought that was refreshing because some elite prospect are self-absorbed, while Big Rob goes out of the way to try to help others). I asked Nkemdiche if there was anything else he wanted to say to the public. “It’s all good.” What do I think? I’ve been wrong before and will be again, but I think the possibility for Robert to have serious flirtations with other schools pretty much ended when Schuessler announced he was transferring to Clemson. That was big for Clemson. Even though Schuessler will join the program as a preferred walk-on, he is a legit D1 prospect and will likely earn a Clemson scholarship sooner than later. And again, Nkemdiche and Schuessler and his family are really close. Bottom line: Barring some unforeseen turn of events, there are just too many good things in place at this point (Kamara and Schuessler, proximity to home, Swinney’s impression, etc.) for Robert to sign anywhere else but Clemson.

What are your thoughts? Please post your comments below. Take a look at Ryan Carter’s video below and let us know what you think …

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408 comments Add your comment

Dawg MRE

July 6th, 2012
1:30 am

Can somebody please explain to me why UGA with 40 scholarships available this year is not offering these Grayson kids to get Nkemdiche? And I still don’t know why we didn’t offer the brother last year? Grayson high school is like 15 minutes from Athens. I will never figure this one out.

TideMan88

July 6th, 2012
2:20 am

I bet Dabo Swinney is a liberal Obama supporter!

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

July 6th, 2012
2:34 am

Standing next to the Bobo of Head Coaching(Dabo Swinney) Nkemdiche looks like the Famous Atlanta Silverback Gorilla from the Atlanta Zoo………….Willie B.

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

July 6th, 2012
2:35 am

How can a College let this kid make those kind of demands. That is BS

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

July 6th, 2012
2:37 am

who runs Clemson?

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

July 6th, 2012
2:52 am

OLE MISS was my bet to start……………

7576DAWG

July 6th, 2012
4:21 am

Robert seems like a really nice guy and about the only trouble this guy will get into with his friends is missing a planned meeting on Wednesday night because he is at church. I’m sure Robert is every bit as good as advertised comparing him to other high school players but in the SEC he will be on a completely different level. He will be lucky to not be red shirted his Freshman year and his fellow teammates will definitely go that route. Nick Schuessler will probably never get to play except maybe a little his senior year. Kamara and Gallman may be starters by their Junior or senior year and Carter is just too short. Carter only has a 2 star rating meaning he doesn’t have anything special too offer and if he get’s an offer he may never be good enough to play at this level.
Robert is just trying to take care of his friends and surround himself with friends that he likes to hang out with. A major program like Georgia, Alabama, LSU or Florida would never give up that many scholarships to get one player and take a chance that the other four are good enough.
But in his defense it certainly would be better than having so many Scholarships left over that you give 8 of them to walk on’s. I had to throw that little jab at Mark Richt’s hoping that dumb sh++ never happens again.

7576DAWG

July 6th, 2012
4:38 am

I also think that Robert chose an ACC team or in the SEC a team that will never be able to compete for the Championship, like Ole Miss. knowing that would be the best route to get his friends playing as much as possible. It want help Clemson or Ole Miss. win the big games but it will get his friends a little playing time. That tells you Robert could care less about winning because that is not what motivates him.
Hopefully Richt has completely written him off as a no way we will get him. Robert has the physical attributes needed to be a great player but you have to question the mental toughness he needs to be a leaders.

dacrookedletta

July 6th, 2012
5:45 am

I can’t believe all of ya’ll grown men are whinning about a kid I stress
KID!!! wanting to continue playing with his friends. I’ts a one and a lifetime thing pls these kids are legitimate D1 prospects it’s not like they are scrubs. Grayson was awesome last year.

Blackoutanyone?

July 6th, 2012
5:51 am

Unless Grayson High School could line up and play with Georgia Tech then I can’t see it. Well… then again maybe Dabo is on to something.

kingdaddy

July 6th, 2012
6:56 am

Good luck to the group. I hope they can stay togeather as long as possible, lol. You’re only young once and when these kids move on and start their lives and families, they will look back on these days as the”good ol days”. Stick with them Robert if you can and haters, don’t hate this circle of friends.

kingdaddy

July 6th, 2012
7:15 am

I didn’t say it was right, I just wished them as kids the best. You adults on a recruiting blog criticizing kids wanting to play togeather seem a little petty. If Daba Dabo Doo has the spots open, who does it hurt? As long as CMR isn’t doing it, I don’t give a spit…

JB

July 6th, 2012
7:27 am

Give me a 3 star Pollack type any day.

JB

July 6th, 2012
7:28 am

Hope he enjoys playing NC State at noon in front of 35,000.

6Ndone!

July 6th, 2012
7:29 am

Why do so many have an issue with this kid? Surely the coaches will do what they feel is best for their program. If this student was committed to your school, there probably would be a different view posted….

cockhound

July 6th, 2012
7:29 am

Enter your comments here

"Nature Boy" Dabo Sweeney

July 6th, 2012
7:29 am

Dabo is the Ric Flair of the coaching ranks… “shock the world” 2011 tour… hahahah 70-33 in the Orange Bowl to a Big East team. Clemson is a bigger joke than UGA!

cockhound

July 6th, 2012
7:32 am

Dildo is desperate…

kingdaddy

July 6th, 2012
7:34 am

What’s funny is he still hasn’t committed but still gets a full story in the recruiting blog again. Tomorrow, we will get to read about a dream he’s going to have tonight. I can’t wait. Anybody heard anything about any OLs???

Beast from the East

July 6th, 2012
7:46 am

Unless his last name is Walker or Tebow, then he isn’t worth wasting 4-5 scholarships on. Will he be able to hold WVU under 70 by himself?

Recruiting | MrSEC

July 6th, 2012
7:48 am

[...] Nkemdiche, the nation’s No. 1 prospect, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Clemson needs to offer Grayson defensive back Ryan Carter to “seal the deal” with [...]

David

July 6th, 2012
7:48 am

TideMan88
July 6th, 2012
2:10 am

Bama has been in more than enough trouble with the folks at the NCAA over the years and this kid wasn’t worth the risk.

Duh. It’s because they cheat. Saban is a cheater.

Gwinnett coach

July 6th, 2012
7:51 am

Lol … Grayson is loaded with talent. They won the state championship this past year.

Bama Fan #2

July 6th, 2012
7:55 am

What is next!! The waterboy gets a scholarship!! RTR

Bitter spoiled recruit

July 6th, 2012
8:07 am

Funny thing —Coach richt and staff had all these extra sholly”’’s—–like 15 extra this year

with all the 3 stars they have commited———-why not throw away 5 on this bunch

of the 33 we will sign——————10 to 15 will not work out???

I would have given all 5 a sholly and there QB———and brought in there coach

or we can keep bringing in 5 star th_uggs and watch a circus show from the puppy gate

to gun running——————-give me kids who known about —-TEAM WORK

DawginLex

July 6th, 2012
8:20 am

JB

Several of the UGA recruits have stated the reason they picked UGA is because of the long standing relatonships with Garner, Bobo and others since 9th or 10th grade.

Your comment is another prime example of the lack of true recruiting information found here coupled with the pro-Bama crap and the constant anti-UGA nonsense

Don’t be brainwashed into believing it.

Really

July 6th, 2012
8:22 am

That kid is the number 1 prospect and part of the state championship team and one of the best defenses around. If he produces as expected hes going to make more money for Clemson than they will ever spend on him. For once we have a kid who isn’t all about himself. He hasn’t issued an ultimatum, just putting a little pressure on. He’s trying to take care of some team mates and some of you want to bash him for that.

I wonder what you would have done…Oh but wait, you were never the number 1 prospect being recruited by every major school with the juice to add a little pressure on the behalf of your friends..

Mudcat's Impala....

July 6th, 2012
8:29 am

Take it to da bank…Conn will be hired by clemson no later than 2 weeks after NSD….

book market…

See Rock City

July 6th, 2012
8:30 am

Tideman88″

Please don not presume to speak for the Tide Nation, to say we (Alabama) did not and still “are” not recruiting Robert & David is not only wrong, but down right idiotic and naive.

We (UA) only have so many scholarships to offer and unlike UGA which could basically offer his whole team are not in that position.

If Clemson can make a package deal which seems to be much more popular now than a few years ago then so be it and we wish them well.

But to say that Alabama does not wish for his and others service is a blatant lie & half truth.

DIT

July 6th, 2012
8:36 am

“What is next!! The waterboy gets a scholarship!!”

That was a good one.

Tampa Gator

July 6th, 2012
8:37 am

……also just read that Dante Phillips is going to receive a second hearing by the U of F acceptance committee. Dante’s father said he feels encouraged after speaking with Florida officicals and Muschamp. So, I guess it is not officially a done deal that Phillips is not coming to Florida. He has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, so maybe Florida will may an exception with the kid and let him enter in the fall semester. If not, his dad also said he has already received offer 30 offers to play elsewhere….but will most likely head to the Canes if not accepted at Florida. I hope the kid gets in…..I am sure he will work even harder now…both in the classroom on on the field.

DawginLex

July 6th, 2012
8:46 am

Hey robert

The cheerleaders need some new recruits too. Got any from Grayson to bring along?

Remember IPTAY? We always said it stood for “I Pay Ten A Year”

Now it’s “I Protect Ten A Year”

Larry W Tucker

July 6th, 2012
8:46 am

Enter your comments here

valley boy32

July 6th, 2012
8:47 am

Who cares UGA will get REUBEN FOSTER so what man these atl suburbs finally get talent and they wanna act like they premodonas. Put in work like these south and middle ga schools!!

Larry W Tucker

July 6th, 2012
8:50 am

That’s 5 players, 4 Cheerleaders, and the School Nurse. Dabo, Worlds Greatest Recruiter.

GeoffDawg

July 6th, 2012
8:51 am

I find it hard to believe that any player not named Herschel would be worth giving up five scholarships for. They may be decent players but you’re taking a heck of a risk. One you might have to live with for years if it goes south.

AltamahaDawg

July 6th, 2012
8:51 am

I do think you folks are making way too big of a deal about his comments. He is most likely signing if they do NOT offer the other guy a ride, too. He never said he wasn’t. Why wouldn’t more of his high school team being with him, “lock” it up? Woudnt it for you? especially if it was already mostly done anyway.

I do think these kids need to be careful these days with these services reporting evertime they open thier mouth. A few yrs ago he could have said this and nobody would have known a thing about it, but today we all get out our degrees in psychoanalysis and disect every word.

AltamahaDawg

July 6th, 2012
8:53 am

PLus, that’s on Clempson, if they want to grab thier ankles.

Larry W Tucker

July 6th, 2012
8:54 am

We got 40 scholarships. We could up it by one and get The Campus Police to arrest the ones that aren’t any good. Mark Richt gets credit for cleaning up the program, plus we get the best player in the Nation.

WINNING.

mdeezy2

July 6th, 2012
8:57 am

Hate all you want we got a 4 star running back (Gallaman) a 3start corner (kamara) and 5 start DE (Robert).. a “walk on QB” he prefered walk on why not let him try out and the Carter kid looks descent … and hell it not like we offered him. he is trying to get his friends in school that not a crime …….Robert followed his friends that committed first…………

DP

July 6th, 2012
9:02 am

mdeezy2, that would be a preferred walk on with a scholarship promised after his transfer season, unless you’re extremely naive.

AltamahaDawg

July 6th, 2012
9:02 am

Did a little spider just crawl across anybody else’s monitor, or is that just mine?

See Rock City

July 6th, 2012
9:04 am

Who is to say that a lot of these “pay for information recruiting sites” are not fueling these cases by stuffing large amounts of cash in these kids pockets to create these type of situations? Who benefits from kayos and reporting all these last minute flip flops….

At some point these “pay sites” are going to be reeled in and made to stop this manipulation of yellow journalism.

bigtime

July 6th, 2012
9:05 am

Anyone that thinks that Bama backed off Nkemdiche and wouldn’t accept hs commitment is ignorant. He’s the best player in the country but there is no way in he77 that Bama would offer any of those other scrubs to secure his commitment. Clemson sceams desperation by doing so. I mean really, it appears as if Dabo has given his recruiting coordinator’s job to Nkemdiche. Go Clemson GrayTigers!!!

WDE

July 6th, 2012
9:17 am

Lets see he will make Clemson millions and millions if he lives up to the hype…if it costs them a couple of scholarships they are still getting a deal.

I am no Tech fan

July 6th, 2012
9:17 am

GT whupped Clemson last year like a toy doll. Clemson was stomped by Tech.

One all world D player like this kid will not make a bit of difference to their bowl hopes and for them to sell out the farm to get a lock on this kid, is an issue. This saga will not end until the NCAA is involved.

Go Dogs.

KYDave

July 6th, 2012
9:19 am

Tidefans (some of you)…you act just like some of my UK brethren when Calipari does not get a top recruit we thought we would. People start trashing the kid and making up all kinds of crap about why Cal never wanted him. You look dumb.

Also, I did not see anything where Dabo will offer Carter. Im guessing he will not unless they miss out on some other guys they are after. Also, the QB does not have a scholarship.

Tampa Gator…..Dwight Jones and Marvin Austin (5* recruits who Clemson did not accept bc of academics).

KYDave

July 6th, 2012
9:19 am

Im pretty certain is was Marvin Austin, if not it was another top DT in that same class.

ollie

July 6th, 2012
9:20 am

all these top schools after him an he committs to Clemson? lmao Is he scared to compete is that why he stayed away from the SEC? He doesnt show up to hardly any NIKE Camps? Something smell like s__t….He shouldve went to LSU If hes that good…..LSU losing the whole starting d-line this year.

Chi Town

July 6th, 2012
9:20 am

Why would anyone not wanna play ball in the septic tank of Athens, GA inside Sanford and Son Stadium?