Nation’s No. 1 football recruit, Robert Nkemdiche, commits to Clemson
CLEMSON — Clemson football earned its first major win of the year Thursday when the nation’s consensus No. 1 prospect, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, committed to the program.
The 6-4, 270-pound native of Loganville, Ga., is seen as a potential impact pass rusher and run stuffer thanks to his rare combination of speed and size.
Nkemdiche, Class of 2013, is the fifth five-star talent to pick Clemson in the last three recruiting cycles, speaking to head coach Dabo Swinney’s abilities as a recruiter. Swinney is the recruiter of record for Nkemdiche.
The commitment gave Clemson’s 2013 class a much-needed lift. Clemson entered Thursday with just seven commitments for 2013 and only one ranking better than a three-star prospect, according to Rivals.com. The recruiting service 247Sports.com immediately jumped Clemson’s 2013 class ranking from 36th nationally to 30th following Nkemdiche’s announcement.
Clemson will still have to wait seven and a half months until signing day to officially welcome Nkemdiche to campus, but assuming he remains committed, Clemson will welcome its best defensive line prospect since Da’Quan Bowers, who was rated as the No. 1 overall prospect by ESPN in 2008.
From ESPN’s scouting report: “Nkemdiche is one of the more promising defensive prospects we have seen over the last few years.
“A young man whose physical build looks of that suited for someone beyond his age as he possesses outstanding overall size and strength while still displaying room for some added bulk and growth.”
Nkemdiche committed to Clemson after two of his fellow Grayson (Ga.) High teammates had friends committed to Clemson earlier this year. Three-star Grayson (Ga.) High defensive back David Kamara committed to Clemson on Wednesday, and four-star Grayson High running back Wayne Gallman committed to Clemson in April.
The three have talked about playing together in college and Nkemdiche visited Clemson on Wednesday and Thursday.
Their high school coach, Mickey Conn, was a teammate of Swinney’s at Alabama.
Nkemdiche chose Clemson over powers like Alabama, Southern Cal and LSU.