Word games

What's next for decommits from Clemson, Texas, USC and Michigan

Originally Published: November 28, 2012
By Jeremy Crabtree | ESPN The Magazine

Robert NkemdicheDavid De PasPressure to join his brother at Ole Miss weighs on Robert Nkemdiche.

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YOU WON'T FIND "decommitment" in your collegiate dictionary (we looked), but fickle recruits have made it part of every football fan's vocabulary. The latest? These blue chips say they are back on the market because they didn't shop around enough. With signing day (Feb. 6) approaching, we asked Jeremy Crabtree of RecruitingNation to reveal the whole truth behind their flip-flops and what they'll mean across the board.


DE Robert Nkemdiche
Decommitted: Clemson
High school: Grayson High (Loganville, Ga.)
ESPN 150 rank: 1st
Why he decommitted: While Nkemdiche said he felt he was "cheating on Clemson" by looking at other schools, his mother has stated openly that she wants him to play with his brother, Denzel, a linebacker at Ole Miss.
What's left for Clemson: It's impossible to replace the No. 1 recruit, but Clemson's 2013 crop is still ranked 14th on the strength of seven ESPN 300 prospects.
Where he lands: All signs point toward Oxford, though Alabama and Georgia are heavily courting him. Nkemdiche insists it will be his decision, but family pressure to join Denzel will weigh on him.


Athlete Ricky Seals-Jones
Decommitted: Texas
High school: Sealy High (Sealy, Texas)
ESPN 150 rank: 13th
Why he decommitted: Not only is the 6'5" Seals-Jones a standout WR for Sealy, he's one of the state's best combo forwards. But the Longhorns weren't willing to let him continue his hoop dreams.
What's left for Texas: Even without a fast, big-bodied wideout, UT has the nation's No. 8 class. It'll still pursue the No. 4 WR, Baylor commit Robbie Rhodes (Fort Worth, Texas), and scour the juco ranks.
Where he lands: While LSU is very much in the hunt, Texas A&M has gone all in, selling him on early playing time as a go-to guy for Johnny Football and at least a shot at basketball.


Athlete Max Redfield
Decommitted: USC
High school: Mission Viejo High (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
ESPN 150 rank: 36th
Why he decommitted: Redfield pledged to USC in July but still visited Notre Dame for its OT win over Stanford in October. He got an eyeful of its game-day atmosphere and thin secondary.
What's left for USC: The Trojans' top-ranked class won't be hurt by losing Redfield, a likely safety. Not with No. 1 S Su'a Cravens (Murrieta, Calif.) committed and No. 3 S Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla.) interested.
Where he lands: USC is still on his list, as is Washington, but ND is in the driver's seat. Says a source close to Redfield, "The second he got off the plane it was like he was in a trance. He loves that place."


OG David Dawson
Decommitted: Michigan
High school: Cass Technical High (Detroit)
ESPN 150 rank: 87th
Why he decommitted: While most staffs allow a commit to visit other schools, Brady Hoke has a policy of dropping prospects who look elsewhere. Michigan stood firm when the No. 1 guard did so. We'll see if Hoke keeps his word with recent decommit CB Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio), who wants to make other visits.
What's left for Michigan: The Wolverines have a top-five class and arguably the country's best O-line crop, including four ranked in the ESPN 150. That's plenty of depth to protect No. 4 QB Shane Morris (Warren, Mich.).
Where he lands: Two of UM's biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State, top Dawson's list. He's hinted at staying closer to home, giving an edge to the Spartans.

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Jeremy Crabtree

RecruitingNation, Reporter