Now that the Michigan Wolverines have completed their 2012 regular season, the coaching staff will begin turning their attention toward recruiting, and the latest rumblings about Robert Nkemdiche committing to the Ole Miss Rebels could have a major impact on the Maize and Blue as National Signing Day approaches.
According to Denzel Nkemdiche, who is a starting linebacker at Ole Miss and Robert's older brother, the nation's No. 1 recruit wants to become a Rebel and will verbally commit in two weeks.
"Robert personally told me, I don't know if I'm supposed to say it, but he told me he's committing in two weeks," the elder Nkemdiche told John Talty of the Jackson Clarion Ledger. "That's just the honest truth. That's what he told me and he wouldn't lie to his brother."
If Nkemdiche does indeed commit to Ole Miss in two weeks, this will be another obstacle for the Wolverines to overcome in their pursuit of 5-star running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va.) and 4-star wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill.).
Green has narrowed his list of suitors down to the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes, Oregon Ducks, Auburn Tigers, Tennessee Volunteers, Ole Miss and Michigan.
The best fit for Green would be Michigan, which is transitioning to a pro-style offense, but the Hermitage High School star appears to be looking for any excuse not to head to Ann Arbor and instead continue his football career in the south.
The No. 13 overall prospect in the country and No. 1 running back has already taken an official visit to Michigan, and another one could be on the horizon if Nkemdiche comes out publicly and verbally commits to the Rebels.
Green's final decision will likely come down to who Auburn and Tennessee wind up hiring to fill their current head coaching vacancies, and Nkemdiche's decision to become a Rebel makes Ole Miss a legitimate contender for the top prospect from the state of Virginia.
Michigan is still very much in the mix and will be a factor in Green's recruitment until the very end, but the Wolverines will be hard-pressed to lure him away from the SEC.
Same goes for Treadwell, who has Michigan and Ole Miss in his top five along with the Michigan State Spartans, Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Treadwell's former high school teammate, and one-time Michigan commit, Anthony Standifer is a freshman at Ole Miss, which has kept the Rebels in the hunt for the nation's No. 1 receiver up until now.
While Treadwell's recruitment hinges on his five official visits, which he plans to take this winter, the potential addition of Nkemdiche to Ole Miss' current class makes the Rebels a legitimate contender to land the Crete Monee High School standout.
Although the Wolverines seemed like a lock to land Treadwell, and will still be the team to beat until the 6'3", 198-pounder is blown away by another school on an official visit, Michigan is going to have a battle on its hands to land him.
Things only got tougher over the weekend for the Wolverines, and the Rebels may be on the verge of pulling in a recruiting class that could completely change the current perception of their program.
Even though Ole Miss is now firmly in the mix and Treadwell's recruitment seems to change at the drop of a hat, I still believe the nation's No. 23 overall prospect will commit to Michigan when all is said and done.
Finally, Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com recently reported that Michigan's coaches will be traveling to Illinois this week for an in-home visit with 5-star running back Ty Isaac of Joliet, Ill.
Though it is a promising sign that Isaac is willing to host the coaches, do not expect the No. 3 running back in the country to de-commit from the USC Trojans in favor of the Wolverines.
Isaac confirmed with Rivals.com's Tim O'Halloran that he is "100 percent with USC," which means the chances of him flipping are slim to none.
The Wolverines are likely just covering their bases and making sure Isaac knows Michigan is still an option in case he has any second thoughts—or if USC's head coach, Lane Kiffin, gets axed before National Signing Day.
Follow me on Twitter @ZachDirlam_SSN.
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