Perhaps no out-of-state school has recruited Georgia better this year than Clemson.
The Tigers have seven commitments from the state for 2013, including the nation’s undisputed No. 1 overall prospect (Robert Nkemdiche) and a wide receiver (Demarcus Robinson) who is considered by some to be Georgia’s best at his position.
However, the big question is: Can Clemson hold onto its all-star class from Georgia – particularly Nkemdiche and Robinson?
Robinson, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 10 wide receiver by Rivals, has been committed to Clemson since July but recently told TigerIllustrated.com that he is a “soft commit” to the Tigers. Robinson is being heavily pursued by Florida and Notre Dame, and wants to attend games at both schools.
“I don’t know if he will visit Florida and Notre Dame,” Peach County coach Chad Campbell told the AJC. “I think he probably will. Whether he does or not, I don’t know. That’s just my opinion. With the season going on and him graduating early in December, it’s going to be hard for him to take a lot of visits like kids do in January because he will be in school somewhere.
“He’s still committed to Clemson. I think he wants to take a couple of visits just to make sure. I think he’s feeling a little pressure, and he wants to make sure where he wants to spend the next few years of his life.”
Along with Florida and Notre Dame, Robinson also told 247sports this week that he might like to visit Alabama and Oregon, too.
“The thing about is, we tell our kids ‘Don’t make a commitment unless you’re absolutely sure that’s what you want to do’ because we kind of shut everything off then,” Campbell said. “Before he committed this summer, I told (Robinson) ‘Don’t do anything unless you’re absolutely sure, because once you commit, you’re done.’ He committed, and when he told me about other schools a few weeks ago, it didn’t make me happy.
“I think your word means a lot to people. But what am I going to do? Be mad and say you’re not going to go anywhere? It’s his four or five years, and not mine. It’s not my decision, but his.”
The good news for Clemson is that Robinson planned to visit Florida each of the last two weekends but didn’t make the trips. With Robinson’s pending early enrollment, time is of the essence for Florida, Notre Dame or anybody else.
Nkemdiche’s situation is a little more complicated. The defensive end from Grayson High School made the surprising commitment to Clemson in June with little fanfare. Things appeared to be moving along smoothly until he recently told ESPN that “my mom wants me to go to Ole Miss.”
Nkemdiche’s older brother, Denzel Nkemdiche, is a freshman linebacker at Ole Miss and has blossomed into one of the SEC’s rising stars on defense. Nkemdiche’s mother, Beverly Nkemdiche, also told ESPN that she was “unhappy” with Clemson.
Both Denzel and Beverly attended Grayson’s game on Friday, watching Robert turn in his best performance of the season with four rushing touchdowns, eight tackles, and one QB sack in a win over South Gwinnett. Ole Miss was off, allowing Denzel to return to the Atlanta area; Beverly, who lives in Nigeria, is visiting for a few weeks and will leave after her son’s rival game against Brookwood on Nov. 9.
Robert said he didn’t attend a college game this past weekend because he was spending time with his family.
Robert told ESPN: “Recruiting is going great, but I am just really confused right now because I love Clemson, but you know everything that is going on with my family and Ole Miss. (Clemson coach Dabo Swinney) is trying to win my mom’s heart. He is sending her letters but there is only so much he can do.”
The good news for Clemson is that Nkemdiche got it out there a few weeks ago that his family is torn between the two schools, yet he still remains committed to the Tigers. If it was as easy to figure out as some recruiting analysts have recently suggested with Ole Miss, he would’ve likely already made the switch.
This one will likely play out until signing day, which is perfectly normal for a No. 1 prospect.
However it ends up for Clemson in February, it will definitely be a vast improvement from last year, when the Tigers pitched a recruiting shutout in Georgia with no signees. After whiffing so badly, Swinney has re-established the state as a recruiting priority, and the early results have been impressive. Clemson is also in the running for the No. 2 overall prospect from Georgia, Dooly County High School defensive tackle Montravius Adams.
WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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