Robert Nkemdiche’s Impact at Ole Miss Goes Beyond Stat Sheet

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga., Grayson) is the number one recruit in the class of 2013, and his decision to commit to Ole Miss is a decision that brings life, optimism, and swagger back to a program that recently endured some lean years.

The Under Armour All-American previously was committed to Clemson, but now the 6-5, 273-pound defensive end will have the opportunity to play with his brother, Denzel Nkemdiche, who led the team in tackles as a standout redshirt freshman linebacker for the Rebels.

Nkemdiche took his last official visit to LSU last weekend and visited Florida earlier in the process, but those two teams really didn’t stand a chance in the race for Nkemdiche. The worst-kept secret in college football over the past two months was that it was a lock for him to follow his brother–at the insistence of his mother—and head to Oxford.

Securing a commitment from Nkemdiche is not only huge for what he brings to the field, but also what he meant to other recruits. He put Ole Miss on the map for many recruits and that is a large reason why Ole Miss was able to secure commitments from so many elite recruits and be in the conversation for the ones that ultimately decided to go elsewhere.

The best recruiting assistant for Freeze was Nkemdiche, who helped convince undecided recruits he played with at the All-American game and visited schools with to follow him to Oxford. With Nkemdiche officially a Rebel, and more to follow today, Hugh Freeze will have put together a top-10 class.

Nkemdiche will be a starter on the defensive line as soon as he steps foot on the practice field, and I have no doubt about his ability to have an impact during the season, but what’s truly impressive is the impact he has already had on Ole Miss.

His legacy at Ole Miss is yet to be written, but the first chapter will tell the story of how he was the player that brought hope and optimism that changed the culture at Ole Miss and turned the program into a one that challenges for championships.

Hotty Toddy, gosh almighty, the Rebels will be the 2014 SEC west champions with Nkemdiche and his fellow recruits leading the way.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on Sportstownchicago.com airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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