Ole Miss LB Denzel Nkemdiche Will Reportedly Play vs. Alabama

Jeff Bell@@JrayBellCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2013

LB Denzel Nkemdiche
LB Denzel NkemdicheFrederick Breedon/Getty Images

Denzel Nkemdiche, a sophomore linebacker for Ole Miss, will reportedly play vs. Alabama, according to al.com (via CBSSports' Bruce Feldman).

The name should sound familiar even to those who do not follow the Rebels, as Nkemdiche is the older brother of Robert, the highly touted 5-star freshman who's seen plenty of action in the team's first three games.

The addition of Nkemdiche strengthens a defense that will have its hands full against the powerful rushing attack led by T.J. Yeldon. There's also the bevy of 4 and 5-star receivers that quarterback AJ McCarron will have at his disposal, and any chance at an upset must start with the best defensive performance of this young season.

The Rebels rank 57th in points allowed at just under 24 per game, while the Tide are scoring almost 40 a game thus far.

Though Nkemdiche won't start, according to coach Hugh Freeze, his performance in last year's matchup will make Ole Miss happy to see him back at all.

Against the Tide in 2012, he had 11 tackles. On the season, he notched 82 and had a trio of interceptions as well. In the first game of the season against Vanderbilt, he had five tackles before tearing his meniscus. The initial recovery time was listed at four to six weeks, so clearly the linebacker worked extra-hard to come back in time for this one.

According to the report, Nkemdiche had been pushing for a return on Saturday, but didn't know if he would be cleared in time.

Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.