Where will Nkemdiche end up?
Nkemdiche's decommitment was abrupt and came sooner than expected, but in no way was it surprising. He had been very open about being torn between Clemson and Ole Miss—where his brother plays and his mother wants him to play—and many felt that it was just a matter of time before he flipped from the Tigers to the Rebels.
It is worth noting that Nkemdiche was at Ole Miss this past weekend for their 27-26 loss, but Woody Wommack of Rivals.com is reporting that Nkemdiche did not commit to the Rebels. To make matters more interesting, Michael Carvell of ajc.com quotes Nkemdiche himself on official visits and when he thinks he will make a decision:
On the possibility of taking all five visits: “I’m not sure I will take all five visits. But my decision will probably come out sometime in January. Or whenever I feel like I am ready, I’ll commit.”
While he may not be sure if he's taking all five visits, there's plenty of time between now and January. Wommacks' report on Rivals.com also stated Nkemdiche's high school position coach said that the No. 1 recruit intends to take all of his official visits, so there are some conflicting reports on that.
Mike Farrell of Rivals.com speculated about a few programs that would get official visits via his Twitter account:
While we aren't 100 percent sure about Nkemdiche's visit situation, it is safe to say that he will be checking out other options.
What must teams pitch to the No. 1 recruit to get him to commit to their program?
Ole Miss definitely has it the easiest. All the have to do is remind Nkemdiche about playing with his brother, Denzel, and how happy that would make his mom. They've been the main candidate to flip him for that reason alone, so there's no reason to stray away from the game plan if you're Hugh Freeze and the Rebels.
Despite their recent loss to Texas A&M, there's no denying that Alabama is one of the best, if not the best overall program in the country. Saban is a great coach and a phenomenal recruiter, and they could provide Nkemdiche with the chance to play with other elite recruits in a program that will be in the National Championship picture year in and year out.
There's also the fact that Nkemdiche's mother, Beverly, stated that Alabama was her No. 1 team in an interview with Carvell on ajc.com. Either way you look at it, it's tough to count Alabama out as a legitimate option for the No. 1 recruit.
That leaves schools like Georgia and LSU, who are listed as "cool" interests by 247Sports. Georgia has the "home-field advantage" with Nkemdiche being that they are his in-state school (he's from Loganville, Ga.) and they have a very young and talented program. LSU on the other hand is a perennial contender in the SEC and for the national championship, and they always boast a defense that's known for being aggressive and dominant.
Even though they are outliers, they can still pitch Nkemdiche on the chance to compete for National Championships in the best conference in college football, and both programs already have very good defensive bases Nkemdiche could come in and be a part of right away.
Finally, there's Dabo Swinney and Clemson, who still have a shot even though they lost Nkemdiche's original commitment. While it's tough to see him recommitting, the Tigers' pitch will have to revolve around the fact that they were his first choice. The simple truth is that it's hard to see Clemson getting Nkemdiche to come back into the fold though, so it might not matter what they're able to pitch to him.
Nkemdiche is 6'4'', 285 pounds and runs a 4.65 40 according to 247Sports, which is extremely impressive. He has the size to be effective against the run at the college level, but his speed will allow him to be an elite pass rusher.
There's a very good reason why he's the consensus No. 1 recruit.
He's going to be a monumental recruiting win for whichever program does eventually pick up his commitment, so needless to say, interested programs will have to be on top of their games.
We'll have to wait and see where Nkemdiche does officially visit from here on out, but there is one thing that is for certain: This story is far from over.