The nation's No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche is currently committed to the Clemson Tigers, but apparently his mother is not too happy with the decision. Is this the opening a program like Alabama needs to sway him away from Death Valley?
According to quotes via Zach Schonbrun of ESPN The Magazine, Nkemdiche's mother, Beverly, isn't feeling great about his commitment to Clemson:
"His decision is not final," she says. "He's just a teenager, and people are forgetting that. We had never discussed Clemson, and I am unhappy with Clemson. I'm not there, so I don't know for certain, but I feel like Robert was pressured into this decision." She'll return later this fall to escort Robert onto the field for senior night.
This could end up being the most important quote of the 2013 college football recruiting cycle, and it spells a whole lot of trouble for Clemson. Conversely, the Crimson Tide of Alabama may have the chance to capitalize.
Even though Nkemdiche is verbally committed, nothing is official until National Signing Day. He can still change his mind 101 times, and other schools can still try to sway him away from Clemson.
Being the No. 1 recruit in the nation comes with a ton of pressure, and the pressure to leave a school like Clemson for an SEC powerhouse like Alabama, LSU or even his home state Georgia has to be staggering.
A look at his offer/interest list would show you that Alabama was second in line before his verbal commitment to Clemson, so it has to be feeling pretty good about this potential breakthrough.
If Nkemdiche's mom, who is a politician in Nigeria, is not happy with his commitment, that could add much more pressure on the No. 1 recruit to rethink his verbal, and to perhaps look at other options that she would be more comfortable with.
This is where Alabama has to step in, and this is how it can capitalize:
Schonbrun's piece in ESPN The Magazine states that Nkemdiche has a handwritten note from 'Bama head coach Nick Saban in his room, so obviously the touch of personal recruiting meant a whole lot to him.
If this is indeed an opening, Alabama and specifically Saban need to step up their communication.
How about another handwritten letter, Nick?
You know what? Even better, write him a letter using a quill and ink on an ancient scroll, and then hand deliver it to his house. Anything Alabama can do to let Nkemdiche know that it still really values his talent is integral, and now is the perfect time to step that up.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, Saban or someone high up on his staff needs to reach out to Mrs. Nkemdiche.
Send her an email, a text, a fax. Heck, send her a carrier pigeon. Somehow Alabama needs to get in contact with his mother and start up a dialog with her about why the Crimson Tide are the best option for her son.
I'm not sure how much power she wields over Robert, but one can only assume that she has the ability to make his life a whole heck of a lot harder, or much, much easier depending on how happy she is about his college decision.
Perhaps Nkemdiche would go forward with his commitment without his mother's blessing, but maybe, just maybe, her unhappiness will cause him to sway away from the Tigers.
Alabama shouldn't take the time to think about maybes in this situation. If there's a chance to get the best player in the country, no matter how small of a chance it may be, the Crimson Tide need to take it.
Note: It is worth mentioning that Nkemdiche will be making his second visit to Clemson this weekend (via 247Sports.com).
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