CLEMSON - Grayson High football coach Mickey Conn told multiple news outlets Thursday that the nation’s No. 1 prospect, Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, has backed off his commitment to Clemson.
“He has decommitted,” Conn told Maxpreps.com.
The 6-5, 270-pound defensive end was the prize of Clemson’s 2013 commitment list and was projected to fill a significant need for Clemson as a potential impact pass rusher. The Tigers are seventh in the ACC in sacks this fall.
But Nkemdiche has faced increasing pressure from inside his family to play at Ole Miss, where his older brother, Denzel, plays.
The decommitment does not rule out Clemson from signing Nkemdiche in February.
Conn told the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post that Nkemdiche is going “clear his mind” and “is still very interested in Clemson.”
Nkemdiche is also interested in Alabama, LSU and Oregon.
Coinciding with Nkemdiche’s mother’s return from Nigeria - where she is a legislator - has been an increasingly shaky commitment from Nkemdiche toward to Clemson.
Nkemdiche’s mother returned to the U.S. for a brief respite last month and she is reportedly headed back to the country on Tuesday.
Nkemdiche’s mother said last week that her son’s verbal commitment to Clemson was meaningless. She also said she had no plans to visit Clemson and stressed that her preference was for her sons to play together.
Ole Miss appears to be the favorite to land Nkemdiche. The family will watch Ole Miss play this weekend.
Clemson has not been able to get Nkemdiche back on campus since early in the season.
The decommitment is described as a “family” decision.
Nkemdiche committed to Clemson this summer after several of his high school teammates committed to the program.
Conn is also a former teammates of Dabo Swinney’s at Alabama.