There’s a lot of pressure put on a guy when you’re called the number one prospect in the nation. That’s something that Robert Nkemdiche has to deal with and so far, his defense at Grayson High School (Loganville, Georgia) is doing just that. Nkemdiche puts pressure on the quarterback and helps stop running plays for a defense has only given up a total of 71 points this year. They have given up 27 in one game and then 22 in their only loss of the season. They have shut-out their last four opponents though.
Nkemdiche is a 6’5”, 260 pound strong-side defensive end. Watching his highlights, he has great speed for his size. He stays low which is tough for a man of his height and keeps his power compact which makes him difficult to block. Constantly he’s staying wide and keeping contain, but then springing to make the play after diagnosing what’s happening. He takes great angles to get to the ball and doesn’t allow the ball carrier to get away. I can see why he’s the #1 prospect in the nation, because he looks ready to play immediately.
It will be tougher at the next level where the talent will get better, but I honestly don’t think this will be a big issue for Nkemdiche. I have said this about most recruits and I will say it about him as well, getting stronger and bulking up a bit is something that he will need to do. It isn’t a big issue with him, because like most, you don’t want to lose his speed, but putting on some more muscle will make this beast even more of a force.
Nkemdiche is a solid verbal commit to the Clemson Tigers and I know that their head coach Dabo Swinney has to be salivating to get him on the field. He has his team at 8-1 and is tied for first in their division with the Florida State Seminoles. Everyone knows about their offense and how explosive it is, but with a middle of the pack defense that has given up quite a bit of points this year, he has to like the thought of Nkemdiche lining up outside on the line.
I wouldn’t say him going to Clemson is a complete lock yet though. Nkemdiche’s mother really wants her son Robert to re-consider and to think about going to play for the Ole Miss Rebels, where his older brother Denzel Nkemdiche plays. He is a freshmen linebacker and has recorded 60 tackles, 2 sacks and an interception this season.
With one more game left in his regular season, Robert is looking to try to keep their shut-out streak alive and try to bring home the state title. This dominating force will look to continue to do just that as they continue their season. Whether he attends Clemson or Ole Miss, he will find himself in the backfield making plays soon enough at the next level.