How Les Miles Should Handle No. 1 Recruit Robert Nkemdiche Canceling LSU Visit
Another day equals another twist and turn in the saga known as Robert Nkemdiche's recruiting process.
Update 2/1/13: According to Kipp Adams of ESPN.com on Twitter, Nkemdiche will actually officially visit LSU:
--End of update
Yesterday, a report came out via Kipp Adams of ESPN.com where Nkemdiche stated that he was setting up an official visit to LSU this weekend. Soon thereafter, a conflicting report surfaced that sourced Nkemdiche's father, Dr. Sunday Nkemdiche, who said that Robert would not take any more official visits.
Neal McCready of RebelGrove.com reports the bad news for LSU:
Nkemdiche said he did not expect his son to take any more official visits, adding that there would not be a trip to LSU this weekend. Nkemdiche said Robert's announcement plays are undecided, adding it will come "likely on signing day" Feb. 6.
If Nkemdiche does indeed not visit LSU, the Tigers can basically count themselves out of the running for his commitment.
Les Miles and the Tigers had a good pitch for the No. 1 overall recruit (early playing time, great football atmosphere, national relevance and competitiveness in the SEC), so this has to go down as a major recruiting loss. The Tigers may have been an outlier in the recruiting process, but they still had a chance.
That's more than most elite programs were able to say in regards to Nkemdiche, and at the very least LSU was able to make it interesting.
Ole Miss is considered to be the popular leader and the Rebels appear to have a pretty good chance to land Nkemdiche's commitment considering his family ties to the program, and there's also no doubting the hype and anticipation surrounding Hugh Freeze's program this recruiting cycle.
LSU can't afford to not receive a visit, and while it looked like the Tigers may have had a chance yesterday, McCready's report basically renders LSU null and void.
It's worth noting that this was Nkemdiche's father who said there wont be a visit, but considering how up-and-down the No. 1 recruit's process has been, I wouldn't count out a change of heart just yet in regards to a visit to LSU. He's surprised us before, and he can do it again.
Is LSU out of the race for Nkemdiche?
With just few days left before national signing day, Miles and his staff don't have time to waste on the recruiting trail. Losing out on Nkemdiche is a notable recruiting loss, but the Tigers still have work to do.
The most notable recruit with high interest in the Tigers is junior college receiver Courtney Garner. He's 6'3'', 215 pounds and runs a 4.40 40-yard dash according to 247Sports, so he'd be a huge pickup for LSU. Thankfully for the Tigers, they are listed as the favorite according to his 247Sports interest list.
Another top recruit that has LSU listed as his favorite (according to 247Sports) is 4-star tight end Josh McNeil. He's a former Alabama commitment and is ranked as the No. 10 overall tight end according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He would represent a major recruiting win for LSU, especially considering the fact that he used to be an Alabama recruit.
Unless something drastic happens (which is always a possibility, mind you), LSU looks to be on the outside looking in for his commitment.
The Tigers would be setting themselves up very nicely on the offensive side of things though by landing either Garner or McNeil, and if LSU can get both—that should make up for losing out on Nkemdiche.
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