The title of No. 1 recruit normally comes with a decent amount of prestige and attention. But it also carries weight with other recruits.
Robert Nkemdiche was 2013's No. 1 college football recruit, and he made huge headlines by committing to Ole Miss. The Rebels, in general, were one of the big headliners during the 2013 cycle, as they came away with the No. 7 overall class, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
Nkemdiche's interest in Ole Miss was a huge reason why the Rebels came away with such a talented class. After all, talent begets talent, and other elite recruits naturally want to play with players of their own caliber.
With the attention shifted to the 2014 class, though, it seems as if Nkemdiche is still helping the Rebels on the recruiting trail.
A few days ago, 4-star defensive tackle Elisha Shaw tweeted that Ole Miss was the new leader for his commitment. On Monday, Kipp Adams of ESPN.com (subscription required) reported that Shaw took a visit to Ole Miss this past weekend and spent time with the Nkemdiche brothers. Nkemdiche made a pitch to Shaw, per Adams:
Two players that Shaw has really hit it off with are prominent members of the Rebels’ team, one of whom just arrived on campus last Monday.
“Robert Nkemdiche and Denzel Nkemdiche are like my brothers,” Shaw said. “We just chill, talk football and have fun. Robert told me if I came there, we could win championships. They are trying to get all the Georgia boys.”
For those who may think a championship at Ole Miss is unrealistic, Hugh Freeze and his program are taking realistic steps towards accomplishing that lofty goal. One great recruit does not a championship bring, but remember, Ole Miss also landed No. 1 offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, No. 1 wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and 5-star safety Tony Conner, among other talented recruits in 2013.
It may not come this year or the next, but if Freeze can take his program and win a few big games in 2013, the hype from those wins, plus last year's class, will certainly translate to the 2014 recruiting trail. And that's how championships are slowly but surely won—on the recruiting trail.
A few more recruiting classes like last year and Ole Miss could maybe be in the conversation sometime during the Nkemdiche era. At the very least, statements like this from Nkemdiche to recruits would carry some major weight.
Landing Shaw would be another step in that direction, so thankfully for Ole Miss, Nkemdiche is on the case.
Shaw is the No. 2 defensive tackle in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.