Top DE recruit's options include Tide

Updated: March 20, 2012, 3:55 AM ET
By Jamie Newberg | ESPN RecruitingNation

Loganville (Ga.) Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, widely considered the class of 2013's top prospect, plans to announce his college choice May 18, according to Mickey Conn, his coach at Grayson High School.

Conn said Monday night that Nkemdiche, an Under Armour All-American, is expected to announce where he will attend college after the Georgia school's spring game.

"That's the tentative plan for now," Conn said. "I don't think that's 100 percent for sure, but Robert would like to get the decision done and out of the way."

Nkemdiche, who is 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, is one of the most heavily recruited players to ever come out of the Peach State and has his sights set on five schools -- Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.

"Those are the five," Conn said. "He just visited LSU and loved it. He told me today that he had a great time, although we didn't talk too long about it. I know he would like to see and visit all five schools again before he makes his decision. He wants to get to know the coaches and players a little better before he decides."

Many believe Alabama is the team to beat. The Crimson Tide have been expected to be Nkemdiche's top target school for some time. However, some insiders feel he could end up in Oxford, Miss., and join his older brother Denzel, who signed with Ole Miss last year. Meanwhile, Georgia, LSU and Clemson have all made a big push over the past few months.

"I do not believe that there is a front-runner," Conn said. "I think it's one of those things where when Robert visits a school, he walks away so impressed. They are all recruiting him so hard and so well. They are all great schools, and they treat him like a king.

"But let's remember that he's still a 17-year-old kid and this is such a huge decision. There's so much pressure on him. He's such a good kid, and he does not want to hurt anyone's feelings," he added.

Over the past several months, Nkemdiche has made unofficial visits to see all five of these schools, and more visits could be in store before his scheduled announcement in May. In 2010, Nkemdiche had 18 sacks, and he followed that up with a junior campaign that saw him record 18 sacks and 17 touchdowns at running back. He also led Grayson to its first class AAAAA state championship in 2011.