Thursday, June 14, 2012
Updated: June 15, 7:32 AM ET
Robert Nkemdiche picks Clemson
By Kipp Adams
Robert Nkemdiche, the No. 1 prospect in the ESPN 150 from Loganville, Ga., committed to Clemson on Thursday during Day 2 of an expected three-day, unofficial visit to the ACC program.
"I did commit," Nkemdiche said. "I love Clemson."
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end at Grayson High School picked the Tigers over offers from programs across the country, including Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.
New Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, brought in after an embarrassing 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 3, made Nkemdiche a priority immediately and was present at the Grayson spring scrimmage. There also are ties to Grayson head coach Mickey Conn, as he and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney were roommates at Alabama.
Also helping Clemson's cause in recruiting Nkemdiche was that he will have a few familiar faces joining him in Death Valley.
Nkemdiche joins Grayson running back Wayne Gallman and Grayson cornerback David Kamara in pledging to play for Swinney and his staff.
The trio visited Clemson on Wednesday, with Kamara making his commitment during their first night on campus. Nkemdiche is the eighth commitment in the 2013 class for Clemson, and the third ESPN 150 prospect to commit to the Tigers.
This is the second time Clemson has landed the No. 1 player in the country. In the 2008 class, the Tigers landed defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, who is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Nkemdiche emerged as a five-star prospect after an 18-sack sophomore season, and followed it up with another 18 sacks for the undefeated Class 5A state champion Rams while scoring 17 touchdowns at running back as a junior.