Nkemdiches mother states case for sons to play together
The Nkemdiche family was front and center in the recruiting universe last week.
Defensive end Robert Nkem-diche of Grayson, Ga., has been committed to Clemson since mid-June. But with his brother Denzel at Mississippi, and his mother’s stated desire that the two play together, speculation about Robert switching to Ole Miss has been prime Internet fodder.
Beverly Nkemdiche lives in Nigeria but has been in Georgia the past couple of weeks to visit her family. She and Robert went to Ole Miss to see Denzel play, and Saturday they were at Athens with Ole Miss in town.
Last week, Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal- Constitution posted three stories on the AJC website from interviews with Nkemdiche, his mom and his brother. What is clear from all the quotes is that Clemson’s hold on Nkemdiche is tenuous, at best, at the moment.
In her interview, Beverly made it clear she would prefer her sons play together. “Every mother would want that,” she said. “I don’t want a case where they have games in two different states, and I will be running around like a rooster, or not to go to one (game). Every parent would really want that. It’s my wish for it to happen, but I’m not going to put pressure on anybody.”
In the interview, Nkemdiche’s mother also questioned the validity of his commitment to Clemson, which he made on an unofficial visit in June with some teammates.
“That was the first time he went without my husband, his father,” she said. “The first time he went without his dad, he made a commitment. I would think that he was probably pressured to do it, to commit. When I asked Robert, he said, ‘Mother, no. Nobody pressured me to do that. I just felt like it.’ Again, I do not know what happened there. I wasn’t there. He went with friends, and kids get carried away with no parental guidance. And he said something and boom — it was right there with media. My husband was watching basketball on TV and it flashed, ‘Robert committed to Clemson.’ Anyway, it surprised a lot of people, and it surprised me.”
In his interview with Carvell, Nkemdiche said he is backing off recruiting for a while and focusing on the rest of his season.
“I see where my mother is coming from,” he said. “She wants to see both of us on the same team, us doing great things together. We’ll see how it all plays out. We’ll see how it goes. Yes, we might play together. If we do play together, it will be like old times when we played together at Grayson High School.” Nkemdiche added he’s also considering LSU and Florida at this point.
As for the brother Denzel, he is sticking by what he’s always believed in this case.
“I’ve said from day one that Rob is going to be with me, and that’s still how I feel,” he told Carvell. “I just have that feeling. He’s my baby brother, you know. I just know how he is. I know how close we are, and I just have that feeling.”
In other recruiting news:
WR Tramel Terry of Goose Creek remains committed to Georgia and was in Athens on Saturday with his family, but he plans to visit Clemson again this week. Speculation has been growing that Terry eventually will switch to Clemson. “I’m the one who has to make the decision and live with it for the next four years,” Terry said. “I don’t want any added pressure on me by talking about it now.” Terry is a finalist for the Mr. Football Award in South Carolina this season.
Junior OL Taylor Hearn of Williston-Elko returned to USC for the Tennessee game, and he plans to go back to USC and Clemson for games. Those are his top two right now with no favorite, though he grew up a Gamecocks fan. Clemson has offered Hearn, and he’s waiting to hear from USC. LSU, N.C. State, Mississippi State and North Carolina are also showing interest.
Junior LB Christian Miller of Spring Valley picked up an offer from North Carolina last week. The Tar Heels join Clemson, USC, Houston, Georgia Tech and N.C. State as offers. His next visit will be to Alabama for the Texas A&M game this Saturday. Miller says USC, Clemson, Florida State, Alabama and Georgia Tech have shown the most interest. He does not have a favorite.
LB Yannick Ngakoue of Washington, DC committed to Maryland in the summer with one of his teammates but has since backed off that pledge. He is now looking at five schools and said in a video interview with Rivals that USC is in that group. He listed his five schools as USC, Maryland, Tennessee, Miami and West Virginia. He recently visited Virginia and has no other visits set. USC recruiter GA Mangus visited with Ngakoue this week. “They want me as an inside linebacker and I like that,” he said. Ngakoue said he may wait until the Under Armour AA Game to announce his choice.
Junior DB Step Durham of Jacksonville, FL was in Columbia for the Tennessee game. He also visited USC after his sophomore season. Durham has not been offered by the Gamecocks but he’s hopeful of landing one. Durham has offers from Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, North Carolina and NC State. He has also been to games this season at Georgia Tech, Florida and Florida State and plans to visit Georgia Tech again. And he might visit Alabama.
P/PK Jonathan King of Knoxville remains interested in USC and is waiting to see if the Gamecocks will offer a punter for this class. Other schools showing interest include Alabama and Notre Dame. This season he is 6-9 with a long of 42 yards on field goals and is averaging over 45 yards a punt.
DL Quaven Ferguson of Easley should emerge as one of the better prospects in the state for 2014. A few schools are showing interest now but no one has offered. Ferguson has been to Clemson four times and the Tigers are recruiting him the hardest. USC, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame also have shown interest according to Ferguson.
6-4 Matt Howard of AC Flora last week committed to Penn over Harvard. Howard also had offers from Furman, Virginia Tech and Rice. He took official visits to both Ivy League schools before making his decision. Howard averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game last season.
Junior LHP Nate Matheson (6-2 215) of Hampton, VA committed to USC according to the Daily Press of Hampton Roads, VA. Matheson was offered by USC recruiter Sammy Esposito following a tournament in Florida last month. He also had offers from Maryland, Old Dominion and Virginia Tech. Last season Matheson was 5-1 with a 0.91 ERA. He struck out 46 batters in in 38.2 innings. He also hit .382 with 17 RBIs. He’s the 13th commitment for USC’s 2014 class.