Robert Nkemdiche: The pressures of being No. 1

Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s No. 1 overall college prospect, was clearly the star of the Corky Kell luncheon at the Georgia Dome on Wednesday.

When the 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end from Grayson High School entered the Dome, he was swarmed by the media, event staff, players from other teams and their parents, and opposing coaches. All in the day’s work for the 5-star defender.

“A lot of my coaches help me stay humble, they do a great job,” Nkemdiche said. “And I practice being humble. Some people try to be humble but I practice being humble. A lot of it also has to do with my spirituality. I’m a big Christian, and I want to glorify God.”

To Robert’s credit, as he was pulled in every which way but loose on Wednesday, he was happy to give everybody who asked a few minutes of his time.

Grayson’s athletics director stood a few feet away as Nkemdiche made the rounds on Wednesday, helping him facilitate through the time demands. Grayson coach Mickey Conn told the AJC that he is considering having a security guard escort Nkemdiche off the field after games. Nkemdiche has been known to stay 45 minutes or longer after games to talk to an adoring public and sign autographs for kids.

Even opposing players sometimes make autograph requests.

“It’s crazy but I don’t let it go to my head,” Nkemdiche said with a laugh. “If they ask for an autograph, I will give them one. I may be one of their heroes, I don’t know. But if I saw Cam Newton, I’d ask him for an autograph. It’s the same thing.”

What’s the latest with Nkemdiche’s recruiting?

He stated he’s “100-percent solid” with Clemson on Wednesday.

He’s considering visiting some West Coast schools, most notably USC and Oregon. “Yes, I probably will. I want to get a look at some of those schools, but I haven’t set anything up yet.”

He will try to go to Ole Miss as much as possible this season to see his older brother play ball.

On Saturday, Nkemdiche will make his debut as a high school senior at the Georgia Dome. Well, unless something else happens before then — joked McEachern High School coach Kyle Hockman during the Wednesday press conference.

“I was hoping he would sign with the Falcons before Saturday.”

Are you going to go see Nkemdiche play on Saturday? He’s the star of the party but there are plenty of other D1 prospects:

Here’s a breakdown of the top prospects in each game:

Alabama RB commit Tyren Jones recently visited UGA with teammates, according to ESPN (AJC)

Alabama RB commit Tyren Jones recently visited UGA with teammates, according to ESPN (AJC)

9 a.m. Chattahoochee vs. Kell

  • Kell S Quincy Mauger (UGA)
  • Kell DB Brendan Langley (South Carolina)

11:45 a.m. McEachern vs. Grayson:

  • Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche (Clemson)
  • Grayson RB Wayne Gallman (Clemson)
  • Grayson DB David Kamara (Clemson)
  • Grayson TE Jack Banda (Arizona)
  • Grayson LB Zach Barnes (Tennessee)
  • McEachern OL Jajuan Dulaney (Maryland)

2:30 p.m. North Gwinnett vs. Colquitt County

  • Colquitt Co. OL Octavious Jackson (Florida)
  • Colquitt Co. DB Bobby Hill (Ole Miss)
  • Colquitt Co. DB Johnny Ward (South Florida)
  • North Gwinnett OT DeVondre Seymour (undecided)
  • North Gwinnett DB Donnie Miles (UNC)
  • North Gwinnett LB Jalen Brooks (Maryland)

5:30 p.m. Peachtree Ridge vs. Camden County

  • Camden Co. QB Brice Ramsey (UGA)
    UGA's QB of the future, Brice Ramsey, will make a rare appearance in Atlanta (247sports)

    UGA's QB of the future, Brice Ramsey, will make a rare appearance in Atlanta (247sports)

  • Camden Co. RB JJ Green (UGA)
  • Camden Co. OL JP Vonashek (South Carolina)
  • Camden County LB Jarrad Davis (Auburn)
  • Peachtree Ridge WR Joe Horn Jr. (undecided)

8:30 p.m. Walton vs. Brookwood

  • Walton RB Tyren Jones (Alabama)
  • Walton QB Parker McLeod (Alabama)
  • Walton OL Jake Boynton (Kentucky)
  • Walton OL Brandon Kublanow (UGA)
  • Brookwood LB Shaun McGee (UGA)
  • Brookwood WR Kyrin Priester (undecided)




– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

56 comments Add your comment

Dawg East

August 22nd, 2012
11:21 pm

If Rodney Garner wasn’t asleep at the wheel and had offered the brother — WHEN WE HAD 15 EXTRA SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE — – then Robert Nkemdiche would be a Dawg. It’s just sad. I wish RN the best in the ACC.

SEC Fact Finder

August 23rd, 2012
12:08 am

Clemson will be wishing they had him there this year. After that Orange Bowl game and Venables as the coordinator( I sat with him on a plane ride from Dallas to Tampa 2 days before he took the Clemson job) and he will need some major improvement over their last years big game defensive play.

Good Luck to the Young man.


August 23rd, 2012
12:23 am

@Foothills – If you don’t want to read about him……don’t! It is your choice. Articles with or about him generally have his name in the headline. Just pass them by and on the off chance you get surprised and find him in a story you are reading, just hit the back button or the x or whatever you need to do to leave the article. It is not hard to do. For crying out loud, he is a 17 year old kid. Cut him some slack for not being as sophisticated as an adult (many of whom are as bad or worse!),


August 23rd, 2012
1:03 am

Dawg East… there was a time I would have agreed with your statement. To lose the #1 overall prospect from within your state boarders is tuff to swallow. But as time has passed, I feel UGA is very lucky to have avoided the circus that is the recruitment of Nkemdiche. Believe me… it would have cost UGA more than one extra scholly for his brother. Clemson has offered several Grayson players and will offer at least one more by the time RN signs. It would not surprise me to see them offer two more. Under the 85 scholly rule… that is a lot of to give up for one kid.

Roll Tide!!!

Stinger 2

August 23rd, 2012
4:14 am

A GT fan here who also follows and likes UGA until last Sat. in November.
I agree with Blackoutanyone. Too much involved to get this player.
UGA has and can get more than enough talent to offset him not being a “Dawg”. Not only the problem with offering additional scholarships to players they don`t need or want, but there are issues associated with all of the hype and attention that surrounds him.


August 23rd, 2012
6:29 am

Wow, I thought something had happened to Nkemdiche because I had not seen a story on him in the last 4 hours. Glad everything is okay. Does he have all of his teammates on college teams yet? Was he able to get the ball boy a scholarship?


August 23rd, 2012
6:51 am

dawgeast, get over yourself and recruiting.

yes, it’s important, but there are no guarantees any of these kids will work out.

we will fine without this cat in athens

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

August 23rd, 2012
7:12 am

Between South Carolina last year and Clemson this year, the best football players in the state of Jawga are deciding not to go to UGA.


August 23rd, 2012
7:56 am

I call it this year’s #1 overall is a bust it’s been quite some time since the last one, but I don’t think he got it in him that’s just my opinion though.

A person SMART enough to know.....

August 23rd, 2012
8:01 am


Pressure to get all is friends scholarships?
Pressure to get his coaches new jobs?


August 23rd, 2012
8:01 am

Pressures of being the #1 Recruit: Making Bad Decisions, ergo, this young man’s decision to attend Clemson. What a waste. Have fun playing for second in your own state!!!

Chi Town

August 23rd, 2012
8:06 am

Everyone here needs to respect Lord Saban.


August 23rd, 2012
8:52 am

Lord Saban can kiss my Georgia Dawg ass!!

Big Crimson 75

August 23rd, 2012
9:23 am

MC — How much would it take to NEVER write another article featuring the name Robert Nkemdiche?

Michael Carvell

August 23rd, 2012
9:24 am

Thanks for your feedback on the Robert Nkemdiche articles. I understand where you’re coming from. However, our research shows that they are among the most popular stories on the AJC Recruiting Blog. We will continue to do more because of that demand. Thanks.

Undersized lineman

August 23rd, 2012
9:43 am

Just go for his ankles the first snap. Then the second, then the third..

He will not be the impact player he is being setup to be. Mark it down.


August 23rd, 2012
10:31 am

A bunch of haters on here. Robert has worked for this and yall act, as if, he calls up the newspapers and tells them to interview him. I cant wait to see how all these five star recruits from the state of GA do. Robert, Lawson, Adams, and Foster. To bad UGA or Tech could not land one. Has a state ever produced 4 kids in the overall top 10. I know Foster has moved but during the heart of his recruiting (10th and 11th grades) he lived in GA. Every recruiting service has these 4 ranked in their top 15 at least some have all of them in the top 10 which is crazy and the two major universities have failed to land any of them. Adams is not staying in state looks like clemson will get him.

Potential Transfer

August 23rd, 2012
10:31 am


August 23rd, 2012
10:39 am

I know UGA has 28 commits. Really 26 with two being guys left over from this past class. What concerns me is the state is loaded this yr with top talent and uga just has quantitiy right now not quality. We only have a handful of guys that are in the top 5 at their position. Usually georgia’s whole class is ranked in the top 5 at each position. I love three stars dont get me wrong but next yr we need some guys that can contribute immediately. Typically 3 stars have to redshirt to gain size and strength thats why they are rated as 3 stars. Nothing is wrong with that but we will need help from this yrs signing class next yr. I know everyone says look how many 3 stars get drafted but do the percentages and it is totally different. Each yr only about 6-15 guys get a 5 star and about 250 get a 4 star so that is not many considering thousands and thousands get a 3 star. So dont give me that arguement. Some classes only 5 or 6 guys get a 5 star rating so if only 2 of 6 get drafted your at 33%.


August 23rd, 2012
10:42 am

Sounds like Da’Rick is up to his old ways at UT. Will Dooley drop the hammer and sit him the first series against UT? lol

UGA dodged a bullet with that kid… and got K. Gates because of it. Seems like that worked out well…


August 23rd, 2012
10:43 am

Nelson sounds like he might not be a team player and a headache for a coach but he has the personality you got to have to be a corner. you got to believe your the best bc you are exposed on an island and everyone knows if you get beat. unlike a linebacker or d lineman that gets covered up by the bodies. Most corners are extremely cocky that what makes them great. they never think about failing that allows them to take chances out there.


August 23rd, 2012
10:44 am

People amaze me knocking this kid because you are sick of what the media is doing. Hate on the media, not the kid – he is a great kid, you just don’t know the real person because of the oversensationalized crap that is shoved at you everyday. Not Robert’s fault!


August 23rd, 2012
10:44 am

Remember how all of you TROLLS laughed at UGA and Richt when DaRick Rogers flipped to UT on NSD?

We used the open scholly to sign Kenarious Gates who is now our starting left tackle

Rogers just got booted off the team at UT

Who is laughing now?????????????????

The Bear

August 23rd, 2012
11:18 am

Pressures of being number #1? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder….

Roll Tide


August 23rd, 2012
11:21 am

Blackout, great to see Coach Saban reward our long snapper Carson Tinker a scholly this week. That kid represents everything a student athelete should be and he is just one example of why character matters and is such an integral part of Alabama success. Roll Tide


August 23rd, 2012
11:26 am

This is awesome. We need more stories on the kid who’s going to Clemson. Not enough of them these days.

Flo - Ri - Duh

August 23rd, 2012
12:08 pm

No one in the state of Georgia cares about Nkemdiche “reality” show. He is now irrelevant in the state of Georgia.

Flo - Ri - Duh

August 23rd, 2012
12:12 pm

ESPN gives the “gnome” national exposure for giving ONE walk on SENIOR a scholarship. Is that worthy of national exposure? Richt has been doing this for years and Saban got jealous of the little bit of exposure it gave UGA and Mark Richt. Big deal.

Flo - Ri - Duh

August 23rd, 2012
12:18 pm

CORRECTION! Duh’Rick was suspended but not “booted” off the Tick Hound team. Duh’Rick Doody wants to see how his other other WR that he stole from UGA is doing in the 1st game before he announces how long Duh’ Rick will be suspended. Likely to be back for the UGA game. No one should be surprised by this event as Duh’Rick had a rep in high school of having a “little’ Isaiah Crowell in him. Great athlete – thug attitude.

what the heck kind of name is Dabo? oh yeah, a bamard name

August 23rd, 2012
12:48 pm

nkemideche or whatever his name is…..might as well call him Bust. Because that’s what he’ll be by the end of clemson “dabo danny ford cheetahs” career.

Big Crimson 75

August 23rd, 2012
1:54 pm

RTR22 — Touche’ on the Tinker scholly.
Carson’s a good kid. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year.
The young man has been through quite a lot — no player was affected more by the tornado in April 2011, which killed his girlfriend.
Roll Tide Carson!! You’re a credit to Bama Nation.


August 23rd, 2012
2:20 pm

Obama should be so lucky to get this much press. If he flops, he’ll have 63 AJC articles about him in the future to show his grand kids.

mike quinn

August 23rd, 2012
3:41 pm



August 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm


August 23rd, 2012
5:28 pm

why delete my 8:0 something? It was there when i left for work, come back and you took it off? Lots of people are tired of his stories, which amount to very little. No cussing, no insults, just two simple words. Not even a name, just a short, concise two word statement. I’m being nice. What’s the beef? E-mail me if you want, thought we took care of this…


August 23rd, 2012
5:30 pm

Robert Nkemdiche has said quite openly that he wants to glorify God.
I’m fine with that.

Marlon D.

August 23rd, 2012
6:19 pm

Will these games be televised ? I would like to check this kid out for myself.

give us a break

August 23rd, 2012
8:02 pm

No offense to the kid, but I am absolutely sick of the RN articles. To help your research MC I absolutely promise never to read another one of your articles if his name is the headline or lead paragraph.

Michael Carvell

August 23rd, 2012
8:08 pm

Thanks. I will hold you to that promise because … there will be more

Bobby Rogers

August 23rd, 2012
8:19 pm

There is alot of sour grapes here. RN wants a weekend vacation to the west coast. You would do it too, if you could.

Bobby Rogers

August 23rd, 2012
8:22 pm

Alot of articles about RN is a blessing to M. Adams. If he announces that he is committed to Clemson, he will have to face constant attention.

Game Changer

August 23rd, 2012
9:04 pm

All the teams in the south have quality players today. SEC has more depth than others for the most part but early season games and coaching can make a difference. Neither are a long suit of richt while at UGA.

What day will Mark Richt announce that the Missouri game is not a must win?


August 23rd, 2012
10:39 pm

R Nkemdiche, at this rate will soon be needing a chauffeur…. anybody interested?


Look on the positive…. we all know how to spell Nkemdiche now!

Go Blue

August 24th, 2012
12:29 am

It still amazes me how much hate comes to a KID because he chose a school other than the one that you attended or are a fan of. I know not all fans are like this but on this blog it seems that a majority are. RN is a good kid and chose to play at Clemson instead of UGA, GT, BAMA or whomever , so does that mean that he is horrible when the media talks about him because he is the number 1 player in the country? I am sure that if he had chosen to play for the school of your choice, the articles would be just fine, right? For those that say he will be a bust must not have seen him make the Walton O-line (which was suppose to be good) look like a bunch of grade school kids in the finals last year.

Asian Bond

August 24th, 2012
2:13 am

Good luck to someone I read is a great player, but as a USC Trojan, I’m not sure why we’d even pay for you to visit SC. We’ve already got the 2nd and 3rd best linemen committed, and we’ve already sold out all our slots.

[...] Robert Nkemdiche may visit Oregon and USC but hasn’t set anything up yet [...]


August 24th, 2012
6:42 am

Go Blue… I think the #1 thing that has turned people off to this young man is his perceived demands. While some will defend his actions to assist friends in landing scholarships, I find it absurd that a college must offer half his HS team in order to get his non binding commitment. I wish him the best of luck but I think the backlash is deserved.

frank p

August 24th, 2012
9:31 am

What is Dabo going to do when Nkemdiche visits other schools after verbal commitment to Clemson?
His policy has been removal of the scholarship offer. That is what he has done before. Bet he doesn’t do that to Nkemdiche.


August 24th, 2012
9:51 am

Nkemdiche. We need to change this blog to Nkemdiche everyday all the time. A great player but man it is just overkill. I will not read another article on Nkemdiche. That is my pledge to you all the other Recruitnicks. I am done!

Go Blue

August 24th, 2012
11:55 am

Hi Blackout, very good points and I understand why people would think the way they do. The key word is perceived, I don’t think he has demanded that Clemson give anyone a scholly. The kids that have been offered are legit D1 players. Grayson is a top 3 team in the country so they are not a 1 man team and I am sure that the Grayson coach is not going to send his old Bama roomate (Dabo) a bunch of guys that can’t play. A couple of scholly’s to open a pipeline to one of the top teams in the country is not such a bad idea either. Have a good day Blackout and best of luck in all the games after labor day :-)