The Clemson Tigers have two very important verbal commits at defensive end in No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche and 4-star prospect Elijah Daniel, but the odds are very high that one or both of these players will be swayed away to an SEC school.
Nkemdiche's brother, Denzel, plays football at Ole Miss. As a result, Robert is feeling the pressure from his mother to play for the Rebels as well (via Kipp Adams of ESPN.com):
My recruitment is crazy still, and Ole Miss is making a push for me. It does not matter to my dad, but my mom wants me to go to Ole Miss and we are still talking about it, so we have not come to an agreement on it yet. It is tugging my heart in two different directions.
Daniel, on the other hand, is apparently not feeling too strong about his commitment to Clemson (via Jared Shanker of ESPN.com):
As Daniel continues to look at his options, does he still consider himself a Clemson commit?
“Yeah,” he said, “for right now.”
Shanker also reported that Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee are receiving interest from the 4-star defensive end.
What are the odds that the SEC can steal each of these two Clemson commits?
Odds SEC Steals Robert Nkemdiche: Likely
Don't underestimate how important family can be in a recruit's decision making. It's rather apparent that Nkemdiche's family has a lot to do with his recruiting process, or we wouldn't have heard so much about Ole Miss.
The programs are on two very different levels, but Ole Miss is still an SEC school. If Nkemdiche committed to their program, it could be the start of a very big turnaround.
The allure of playing with his brother and making his family happy at the same time will likely end up being too much for the No. 1 overall recruit.
Odds SEC Steals Elijah Daniel: Extremely High
Judging by what he said, it already feels like Daniel has one foot out of the door. He doesn't appear to be sold on his commitment to Clemson, and with SEC schools—including the currently undefeated Florida Gators, the aforementioned Ole Miss and Tennessee—high on his interest list, it seems like a flip is inevitable.
Even if Nkemdiche does stay with Clemson, I see Daniel choosing one of those programs. He's a talented player that will want to be featured on a defense, and he can't do so with Nkemdiche at Clemson. With that being said, if Nkemdiche leaves, it may just affirm Daniel's decision that Clemson isn't the right place.
This appears to be a lose-lose situation for Clemson.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!