The 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end from Loganville, Ga., had been on several programs’ wish list for more than a year, but family ties gave Ole Miss the inside track. His brother Denzel Nkemdiche plays for the Rebels and led Mississippi’s defense with 82 tackles, including 13 for a loss last season.
Robert Nkemdiche went on an official visit to LSU last week, but when it was all said and done, he chose the Rebels.
“I feel like it’s the right place for me,” Robert Nkemdiche said during his press conference. “I feel like they can do special things and they’re on the rise. I feel like going to play with my brother, we can do something special.”
Today is the first day prep football recruits could officially sign with colleges. Nkemdiche made the announcement in a news conference on ESPNU.
Second-year coach Hugh Freeze led Ole Miss to a 7-6 record last season, improving from a 2-10 mark in 2011.
“I feel like he’s a good man, he’s special,” Robert Nkemdiche said of Freeze. “I feel like he’s a man of his word. I respect him a lot and I feel like he has good things coming.”
He’s the first major piece in a class that could be the Rebels’ best on paper.
On top of Nkemdiche, receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill.) has already verbally committed to the Rebels, according to Rivals.com and Scout.com, while other highly rated recruits like offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla.), safety Antonio Conner (Batesville, Miss.), defensive end Elijah Daniel (Avon, Ind.), offensive tackle Austin Golson (Prattville, Ala.) and defensive end Chris Jones (Houston, Miss.) are reportedly considering the program.
Denzel Nkemdiche said he and his mother pushed hard for Robert to choose Ole Miss, but ultimately the decision was his. Denzel said his individual success at Ole Miss — along with the big improvement for the program this season — were important factors in Robert’s choice.
“The feeling right now is unreal,” Denzel Nkemdiche said. “It’s real hard to explain. I’m glad it’s over. I wanted him to make the right decision that he wanted to make and I wanted him to feel comfortable with the decision he made because he’s going to be where he’s going to be for the next three years. I’m glad he’s going to be there with me. I’ll be able to look after him and take some care of him and we’ll be able to win the national championship together.”