High-SchoolFootball: Ole Miss

Get Familiar: Robert Nkemdiche

September, 19, 2011
9/19/11
9:17
AM ET
Robert NkemdicheRyan Gibson/ESPNHSGrayson (Ga.) junior Robert Nkemdiche might be the nation's top football player
Robert Nkemdiche certainly passes the eyeball test.

At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, he looks more like Julius Peppers than a high school student. The Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) defensive end plays like Peppers, too.

With his size, strength (he benches 340 pounds, squats 500 and power cleans 340) and speed (4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash), Nkemdiche (pronounced kim-DEECH-ee) can do pretty much anything he wants against offensive linemen. Last year, he wreaked havoc in the trenches to the tune of 58 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 18 sacks.

This season, he’s faced a variety of game plans designed to prevent him from crushing the quarterback. Nevertheless, he’s made a huge impact for Grayson, which is 4-0 and ranked No. 16 in the POWERADE FAB 50 ESPNHS Team Rankings.

Nkemdiche has also seen time at running back this season and ran for the game-winning touchdown in the Rams’ season-opening win over Kell (Marietta, Ga.).

Oh, by the way, Nkemdiche is only a junior. And the superb skills he’s shown at such a young age is why he’s arguably the top player in the country, regardless of class.

Not surprisingly, a number of the nation’s top college teams have taken notice. Nkemdiche is considering the likes of Mississippi (where his brother Denzel is a freshman defensive back), Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Florida, Florida State and Oregon, but he’s yet to narrow down his extensive list of offers.

Right now, he’s more focused on leading Grayson to a state title and is excited about the possibility of his mom, Beverly, watching one of his games this year. Beverly is a legislator in Nigeria and rarely has the opportunity to come home and watch her talented son play.

So what makes this man-child tick? It’s time to Get Familiar with Robert Nkemdiche.

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