Since committing to Clemson last summer, there has been rampant speculation that the nation’s No. 1 recruit Robert Nkemdiche isn’t actually all that committed to Clemson. Not only has the Grayson, GA defensive lineman attended a number of his brother Denzel’s games at Ole Miss this season, but there are plenty of other programs which remain in pursuit of him. Included in that list is some school named Alabama, a school that at this point, you’ve probably heard of.
Of course if you’ve followed Nkemdiche’s recruitment, you also probably know that at least on the surface, Nkemdiche isn’t making his college decision alone. Like many high school seniors, Nkemdiche’s mother Beverly has been actively involved in her son’s college decision, or (depending on what reports you read) at least trying to provide a strong “helping hand” to get her son to a school of her choice.
One thing that’s undeniable though is that Beverly Nkemdiche isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
She did exactly that on Thursday, discussing a number of topics on her son’s recruitment with the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Michael Carvell.
Ms. Nkemdiche had a lot to say, including the following on…
Robert playing with brother Denzel at Ole Miss:
“Every mother would want that. I don’t want a case where they have games in two different states, and I will be running around like a rooster, or not go to one (game). Every parent would really want that. It’s my wish for it to happen, but I’m not going to put pressure on anybody. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, OK.”
Ole Miss itself:
“I looked up their education program. I went to Ole Miss in July. I had a visit there. I looked up the academic aspect of it to see how they would care for the boys, to make sure they are doing their schoolwork. It’s not all about the football. I want my boys when they come out of college to have something other than football, something else to fall back on.”
“I’ve never been to Clemson. I’ve not talked to anybody from Clemson’s team. I don’t want to go there because that’s out of my way. There is nothing that would take me there.”
Now to be fair, Beverly did follow up by saying the following:
“What took me to Ole Miss was Denzel. I haven’t been to any other school. Honestly, if Denzel was not at Ole Miss, I wouldn’t have gone to Ole Miss.”
Of course where it gets really interesting is Ms. Nkemdiche’s comments on another school, one which happens to play their games down in Tuscaloosa, AL. Here are Beverly’s thoughts on Alabama:
“My No. 1 team is Alabama. That’s one school I truly love, Alabama. But I don’t have child in Alabama to take me to Alabama.”
She then added:
“Alabama has a good football team. And they’re solid. They have good academics. Right now, they are undefeated. And I’ve stayed in stayed in touch with their coach on Facebook. He is a good person.”
Well hello!! It sounds like the coaches at Clemson and Ole Miss need to get on Facebook too!
In all seriousness though, while Ms. Nkemdiche does say a lot of interesting things, it’s hard to really gauge where Robert’s recruitment actually stands or how much sway she actually has over it. While it’s clear Beverly wants her sons to play together (because really what parent wouldn’t) she also says during the interview that ultimately Robert’s college choice is up to him.
More importantly, she has also said that she’d be glad to speak with Clemson’s coaches if they reached out to her. That is in direct contrast with what has been previously reported by various outlets, and makes for a kind of interesting follow-up question: Why the heck haven’t Clemson’s coaches reached out to the mother of arguably the biggest recruit in the history of their program?
Point being, it seems like there are a lot of chapters left to be written in Robert Nkemdiche’s recruitment.
At this point, I don’t think anyone (mother or son included) who knows exactly where he’ll end up on Signing Day.
To read the full transcript of the interview via the Atlanta Journal Constitution, please click here.
For all his opinion, analysis and insight, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.