Colonel Reb was still crying last year as a 2-10 record was posted in Oxford, MS. This season, first-year head coach Hugh Freeze has the Ole Miss Rebels bowl-bound. Appropriately, their bid-clinching win came against the rival Mississippi State Bulldogs. That’s a great story by itself, but there’s a twist you may have missed.
As Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen’s words of “we’re never losing to this team again,” in reference to the Bulldogs’ 2010 loss were played over the jumbotron, Rebel fans swarmed the field to join players and coaches. Among the masses were linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche and more interestingly, his brother, Robert. The latter is considered by many to be the No. 1 recruit in the nation.
If you’re not familiar with the Nkemdiche name, Robert was previously committed to the Clemson Tigers. Assuming Dabo Swinney was willing to toss a couple of scholarships to his friends, that is.
Long story short, hints about eyeballing Ole Miss were dropped, Nkemdiche decommitted from Clemson and while Signing Day’s still months away, it’s likely Freeze will have him on the Rebels’ sideline.
While the Loganville, GA. native won’t make anything official, his presence in a scrum of ecstatic fans celebrating an amazing turnaround season has to make you wonder.
Maybe he was innocently attending his brother’s game. However, since the boys’ mother has stepped in and made her feelings about Robert playing at Clemson known (she isn’t fond of the Tigers, to say the least), the younger Nkemdiche’s likely getting more comfortable before making things official in February.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter and join in on the conversation.