After months of deliberation, star recruit Robert Nkemdiche has finally made his decision on where he will be playing college football, choosing the University of Mississippi.
Nkemdiche's announcement came during a press conference early Wednesday morning on ESPNU's recruiting special (via College Gameday on Twitter). The No. 1 recruit's selection did not come as a huge surprise, as his brother Denzel also plays for the Rebels.
It's official, Ole Miss just landed No.1 Robert Nkemdiche. Is this the beginning of a new era for the Rebels? National #SigningDay— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) February 6, 2013
With Nkemdiche officially headed to Oxford, it's time to look ahead at what he will bring to the Rebels when the season starts.
Based on the defensive end's raw talent, he should be ready to make an impact as a freshman and could potentially be a star player before the 2013 season is over. While those are lofty expectations to place on such a young athlete, they are not without merit.
Nkemdiche has rare explosiveness and burst off the line for his position. He is listed at 6'4", 285 pounds and is a physical marvel with a combination of speed, power and technique.
Not only is Nkemdiche going to be a big name for this program, but he is going to make it easier for the school's coaching staff to recruit players for the next two or three years. Defense is king in the SEC, and the Rebels just got the stalwart they need lure in top talents in the years to come.
Even in an SEC that is loaded with talent from top to bottom, it's hard to envision a scenario where Ole Miss isn't competing for a top-five finish in the conference. According to 247Sports.com, the Rebels have now landed four of the top 30 prospects in the nation, meaning Nkemdiche will not be the only immediate contributor from the 2013 class.
How many games will Ole Miss win in 2013?
We tend to overreact to these decisions in the moment, because it is such an exciting time for a program looking ahead to the future. But when you the talent of Nkemdiche, not to mention all the players that will be joining him in Oxford, this program is on the rise.
Last year's 7-6 (3-5 in the SEC) campaign for Mississippi was the building block first-year head coach Hugh Freeze needed before this program could take off. Now, Freeze is landing the talent to catch up to the big boys in the conference.