Can Clemson hold onto Nkemdiche and other Georgia stars?

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.

Can Clemson hold onto Nkemdiche and Robinson?

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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 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.

If Clemson holds onto Nkemdiche and Demarcus Robinson, they will have likely recruited Georgia better than any out-of-state school this year (AP)

If Clemson holds onto Nkemdiche and Demarcus Robinson, they will have likely recruited Georgia better than any out-of-state school this year (AP)

“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.

4-star WR Demarcus Robinson calls himself a "soft commit" to Clemson (AJC)

4-star WR Demarcus Robinson calls himself a "soft commit" to Clemson (AJC)

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.




– 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.

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41 comments Add your comment

Left Coast Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
4:26 am

I want to say who cares…..but since I’m here, I might as well say FIRST!!

Left Coast Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
4:31 am

Seriously MC, you gotta know this saga is going to play out at least through December. Interesting topics would be whether any of the Nkemdiche posse will flip elsewhere or what types of letters is his mother getting from Dabo.

Michael Carvell

October 22nd, 2012
6:57 am

@Left Coast, thanks for your post. We are going to continue to aggressively follow Robert Nkemdiche’s situation until signing day because our research shows that Nkemdiche stories are consistently among the most popular. Thanks for the story suggestions and I’m sure we will get to them.


October 22nd, 2012
8:37 am

Many kids would rather chose a program that is less intense. One that specializes in package deals so you might have the opportunity to continue playing with childhood friends and family. One where a lack of depth guarantees playing time as a freshman. One that is more play and less work. One where the HC will sing happy birthday to you. They call these schools Clemson, Ole Miss and Georgia. You’ll likely never reach your potential and you certainly will never win a championship yet you’ll have a good time.



October 22nd, 2012
8:43 am

Dawggie…. I believe the coach is trying to teach a life lesson regarding the significance of one’s word. The problem is the terminology should be changed because these kids are only naming their favorite or holding a scholly when they ‘”commit”. Their real commitment takes place on signing day.


October 22nd, 2012
8:52 am

Say what you will about Clemson, but our coach don’t sing to recruits!


October 22nd, 2012
8:59 am

POOR GT can’t make a dent in recruiting in its own State. Oh well, maybe next year?


October 22nd, 2012
9:06 am

so tired of hearing about this situation, especially when there is nothing new to report.

slow news day on the recruiting trail?

Clemson '72

October 22nd, 2012
9:11 am

@www, then don’t read it. Nkemdiche’s name is in the headline, so read the headline before you click, silly


October 22nd, 2012
9:34 am

The state of Georgia is EVERYBODY’s top priority !!! Ask USCe, Clemson, Tenn., Alabama, Auburn, and Fla. ST.

Or he could choose a program

October 22nd, 2012
9:48 am

Where the recruiting staff is single handedly trying to bail the US Postal Service out, or the same program where the drug testing is more lenient and you get a free pass on the first flunked test.

Come on Bama fans

October 22nd, 2012
9:51 am

Your recruiting is going fine, don’t be a poor loser over not getting Nkemdiche just because you were supposed to have him all but delivered a year ago.


October 22nd, 2012
9:52 am

Why do you feel the need to constantly come on the AJC board and try and degrade fans of another team? I´m a Bama fan, but you are one annoying dude. If you don´t like Georgia fans putting us down and want retribution, it´s simple- don´t come here. This is a forum for Georgia and Georgia tech fans. I never see Georgia fans on the Alabama fan sites. Why are so many Bama fans here. I hope most of them are disguised Tech fans… I can only hope that!


October 22nd, 2012
9:54 am

I´m here… but I don´t put down fans on this site. Makes zero sense!

Kudoes to Bamatoro

October 22nd, 2012
10:11 am

You guys are riding high, and the status of your program is the envy of most every SEC fan, yet that is not enough for certain posters. Every school, and I mean every one, has some posters who are fans, or claiming to be fans, who are obnoxious. LIkewise there are several TIde fans who are able to enjoy their success gracefully, and not kick other teams who are having troubles.

To CU Tigers

October 22nd, 2012
10:16 am

Dabo may not sing to recruits, but do really believe he does not employ his own recruiting gimmicks? Saban likes to flood recruits mailboxes, other coaches likewise have little things they do to enhance the chances of landing a particular prospect. As successful as Dabo has been on the recruiting trail, he likely has his share of tricks up his sleeve.


October 22nd, 2012
11:11 am

Dabo is a joke. The guy goes around beating his chest about tradition and the Clemson way, but what is the Clemson way, falling apart during the second half of the season? Never seen as cocky of a coach for a mediocre program like the Yabbo Dabo. I hope South Carolina destroys Clemson, and I’m not even a South Carolina fan.

Dawg K

October 22nd, 2012
11:23 am

I still can’t believe our coaches at Georgia made no effort to recruit the Robinson kid because he’s really good … smh

The Georgia way

October 22nd, 2012
11:39 am

Robert come be a Dawg and play tight end for me.

XOXOXOX, Coach Bobo


October 22nd, 2012
11:52 am

im really starting to hate UGA,S coaching staff im so amazed by the none strategy and none forthought with these recruits! im really thinkning about switching teams because its gonna be a long 2-4 years with these crappy coaches contracts!


October 22nd, 2012
12:46 pm

Bamatoro… Sir if you will so kindly post your email adress I shall email my posts for your approval prior to displaying them on this here forum. Btw… this forum…if my eyes serve me right, is entitled “COLLEGE RECRUITING” and therefore it is open to all. Even milk duds such as yourself.

“Why are so many Bama fans here?” You can’t really be a Bama fan. No way no how. Lol


October 22nd, 2012
1:22 pm

8 tackles and a sack is the best performance the #1 recruit in the country has had all year????? I could care less (and so will his college coaches ) about his rushing TDs. I watched him score 3 or 4 in one playoff game last year, all from about 2 yards out, big whoop. Your mom, who doesn’t even live in this country, is pulling you away from the school you want to go with so you can go to a .500 football program??? Seriously???? The #1 recruit in the country might end up going to… Ole Miss????????


October 22nd, 2012
2:06 pm

How is this kid even eligable to play at Grayson when his mom lives in Nigeria and his Dad lives in Mississippi?
Clemson has too many connections with Mickey Conn. I wonder how much money gets slid under the table for Graysons program for them getting players like Schussler and RN.


October 22nd, 2012
2:14 pm

Their mother, Beverly, is a Nigerian legislator; Robert has lived in the Atlanta area with his father, Sunday, but has also lived with members of the Grayson coaching staff, including head coach Mickey Conn, who was Swinney’s college roommate at Alabama.

How does that not violate the high school recruiting policies?


October 22nd, 2012
2:42 pm

How? Here’s how – his dad (and Robert) live in Grayson, in the same house since he was 12. You folks need to get over yourselves. Yes, he has stayed with Coach Conn, Coach Gregory, and a couple of other families in Grayson because he doesn’t have a normal family life. This kid is doing wonders with what he has, and you low lifes want to persecute him like he’s some kind of monster. We are thankful that men and families in our community have stepped up to give Rob the parental guidance he is obvioulsy not getting at home – and we are proud of him for seeking it rather than becoming another thug like many of you. Here’s a kid that could easily have gone astray, and he’s making something of himself. Maybe you should try to be half the man Robert is.


October 22nd, 2012
3:32 pm

First of all there is no schools in the SEC that can say anything about crooked recruiting practices of any other schools if such things are happening they will have to deal with it. Way too many schools beat their chest about the MIGHTY SEC! the problem is or should I say the truth is that it’s Bama, Florida, LSU and then everybody else is average at best, UGA is gonna get rolled this weekend and I for one will enjoy it. The Gamecocks were just pretending to be good, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Vandy, Tennessee, I will say Miss St. looks to be decent at this point but nothing specia, they would probably finish 2nd in the east.


October 22nd, 2012
3:44 pm

Why does anyone here in Georgia really care what Clemson does other than coming in and taking some of the top rated players in the state, why is that a big deal?First of all Dabo Swinney is a great man.There are lots of stories and things that he has done for people that many people won’t and don’t hear about and that is ok. There is a reason why kids want to come to play for him and why parents feel comfortable with sending there kids to Clemson. I don’t expect anyone to nderstand or care because everyone has their own school to keep up with and root for, but just keep in mind every single college football team have their ups and downs and even though Clemson has been down for a while they are headed in the right direction.


October 22nd, 2012
5:02 pm

They didn’t “PITCH a shutout”, they “GOT shutout.”


October 22nd, 2012
6:01 pm

I appreciate BLACKOUTANYONE…He’s right. CMR gettin’ his LUTHER (Vandross) on. This says a lot about the intensity of the Dawgs program. Its so non-challant,happy-go-lucky,complacent program. I truly think they’re christmas gift would be 8-4 season (An ATLEAST WE’RE NOT VANDY OR MISSOURI season). Especially when u have fiery coaches like Spurrier,Muschamp,Miles,and SABAN. Notice they’re all winners. Georgia program is so….IT’S NOT WHETHER U WIN OR LOSE,IT’S HOW U PLAY THE GAME TYPE OF PROGRAM. They lack fire,intensity,focus,prestige,and discipline….a change at the top is needed wit the AD beggin’ a fiery coach like Gruden or Cower.

Chatsworth dawg

October 22nd, 2012
7:46 pm

Nomo, I wonder how many of your wonderful people at Grayson would be stepping up if Robert wasn’t a star football player? If he were just an ordinary student who just happens to be Nigerian? I would be willing to bet none of you hypocrites would do a damn thing for the kid if that were the case.


October 22nd, 2012
8:24 pm

His Dad lives in Mississippi as a doctor. It’s all over everything that he has lived with the coaches, the last QB. How is that even legal? You can’t live with someone and be eligible to play in their district unless you have legal guardianship over them. His dad may own a house in Grayson but he does not live there. He lives in another state. I’m confused as to why this has never been investigated. Other coaches have been fired for this. Is it because he’s winning games?


October 22nd, 2012
11:58 pm

Of course, Clmson is a much better team than Dawgs!! More explosive and should be ranked higher than Dogs..

Hey Contractor

October 23rd, 2012
6:45 am

Tradition goes farther back than the last 10 years. You might want to look up Clemson’s football history before you make spout inane comments about a subject which you know nothing about!

Johnny Vaught

October 23rd, 2012
7:59 am

I’m beginning to think what you know about recruiting wouldn’t fill a thimble. First, how many times are you going to re-cycle those ESPN comments? Now, let’s look at one comment of yours — “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.” Smart recruiters, like Hugh Freeze, DO NOT want to flip committed recruits until very close to signing day. Why? Because it gives the other school time to re-recruit the kid. In fact, the majority of flips occur during the dead period when the other school can have limited contact with the prospect. RN won’t flip to Ole Miss until very close to signing day, that is, if he doesn’t reach middle ground with his family and end up at Alabama, LSU,, or even Georgia.


October 23rd, 2012
10:41 am

Enter your comments here


October 23rd, 2012
11:12 am

Momma ain’t going home on the 9th…check your sources.

Flo - Ri - Duh

October 23rd, 2012
3:54 pm

Another question – can Auburn hold their Georgia recruits with their dismal record and the certain firing of Chizik coming up? It’s gonna be funny when Foster has to remove that tattoo. Unfortunately UGA no longer has room for those two 5 stars from Georgia…. but Bummer does.


October 24th, 2012
7:53 am

@Chatsworth – we actually have a number of kids in our community that we’ve helped (and continue to do so) in very similar situations. You just don’t hear about them because Carvell isn’t stuck up their ass reporting their every breath. There is actually a core group of families that provide support for a number of kids and families to assist them not just during high school, but throughout their secondary educational years. Most – but certainly not all – are football players, and only a fraction of those have gone on to play at another level. Thanks for your interest, and if you’d like to join in the support, let me know. We’d love to have you.

@Why – Why don’t you research all the FACTS before spouting what you think you know. Start with the “legal guardianship” issue as it pertains to Robert. That would clear all of your misinformation as it pertains to where Robert lives or stays or even gets family type support, as if it’s any of your business.


October 24th, 2012
2:12 pm

Im wondering why no one is talking about the DE from indiana that may de- commit from clemson. He may be just as good anybody.


October 24th, 2012
3:40 pm

Wait till she learns about the beautiful structure with the clock tower on Clemson’s campus, Tillman Hall, being named for one of the meanest racists in US history, Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman.

Clemson was forever exposed

October 24th, 2012
9:18 pm

West Virginia is STILLscoring on that silly,sissy ACC Clemson team. THAT GAME showed the college football world that CLEMSON is a joke.

PS: WVA was pistol whipped last weekend by an average SEC coach of many years.