The hardest decision that a young football player will make is where to spend his final four years before a hopeful career in the NFL.
Choosing a school that is prestigious enough to give you national attention that will also give you a chance to showcase your talents at their highest level is tough to find. On top of all of that, you want to feel comfortable going to school there. To many people, it is better to be a four-year starter a school like Marshall than to be four-year backup at a school like Alabama.
With one of last year’s best recruits, Stefon Diggs, we saw him pick his hometown school, University of Maryland, as opposed to a national powerhouse like Florida or Alabama. Diggs was given the opportunity to have a big role right away and was one of the sole bright spots of the Terps’ squad in 2012.
There are three of the nation’s top recruits still left undecided, and with national signing day quickly approaching, time is running out for them to make their decision. Picking a school should be based on where they feel they will succeed most, but should also be a school that feels like home.
It is too often that we see guys go to certain schools because of a family legacy or outside motivations instead of their comfortability. Here are three guys that will likely be making the wrong decision come signing day.
Eddie Vanderdoes, DT
Vanderdoes is one of this year’s most dominant defensive linemen. The California native looked to be locked in on UCLA until his recent visit with Nick Saban of Alabama. It must be fun for Vanderdoes to be courted by one of the most well-known men in the country, but he should not go to Alabama.
Vanderdoes should stay at home and become a Bruin, for several reasons. One particular reason is that he is familiar with the area and instead of trying to find a place that will feel like home, he will already be at home. Another reason is because Alabama’s defensive line, while not dominant, is already solid with the guys they have.
Although the loss of Jesse Williams hurts, ‘Bama has guys on deck that are already familiar with the defense, who can come in and take over after Williams' departure. UCLA needs help with their defensive line, and after an overall improvement in 2012, UCLA could be on the verge of becoming an extremely relevant team again.
While playing for the defending national champion is something we would all like to be able to say, Vanderdoes should stay at home and become apart of UCLA’s resurgence.
Laremy Tunsil, OT
For a long time, Tunsil was expected to join one of two SEC powerhouses in Alabama or Georgia, but has since shifted his attention towards Ole Miss. Tunsil, the fifth-best tackle in the country, should not go to Ole Miss.
While Ole Miss is a great school with a good program, he would have a better career with the Tide or the Bulldogs.
While many people held UGA ahead of the Tide in the race for Tunsil, Alabama would likely be the best career choice for Tunsil. Alabama will be losing key starters on the offensive line to the draft and could certainly use someone of Tunsil’s caliber.
Tunsil could potentially come in and start right away for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, and could develop into the next great lineman to come out of Tuscaloosa. While Alabama would be a great choice for Tunsil, so would UGA. Georgia has a powerful offense and a great defense and has really been making a splash in the SEC these past couple of years.
While Tunsil will likely join the Rebels of Ole Miss next year, his best bet would be to go to UGA or Alabama.
Robert Nkemdiche, DE
Nkemdiche was originally committed to Clemson before decommitting due to pressure from his family. His older brother, Denzel, is a linebacker for Ole Miss and is pushing hard to recruit his brother to play along side him.
For right now, Ole Miss is the favorite to bring in Nkemdiche, but LSU has also been making a strong case for him. Going to Ole Miss, mainly because of his brother, is not in the best interest for Nkemdiche.
LSU is a perennially good team and will be losing one of their top defenders in Barkevious Mingo to this year’s draft, opening the door for Nkemdiche to come in and make an impact as a true freshman. The nation’s top recruit recently visited with LSU and reportedly loved it.
LSU produces more NFL-ready prospects than most schools in the country and is Nkemdiche’s best bet for a great college career that will hopefully turn into an NFL career. Nkemdiche will likely join his brother at Ole Miss and will undoubtedly do well but he would definitely do better if he was a Tiger.