Some people live for college football recruiting and know all the prospects no matter how many stars are beside their name. Others glance quickly at the big stories on national signing day, so they're not out of the loop in the fall.
If you're in the latter group and haven't been following this year's recruiting class until now, good news. If you familiarize yourself with the recruitment of defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, you'll be well versed in the major story of national signing day, which is Wednesday.
Nkemdiche is the No. 1 recruit on Rivals' list, and the only one in the top 10 to not make a commitment. His recruitment has been a bit controversial and to this point his decision is a mystery, and we have a primer on where it stands at the moment.
Wherever Nkemdiche ends up, it will be hard for Clemson. The impressive defensive end committed to Clemson last June, and that lasted about five months. In November he backed out of that commitment, and that is his right considering no National Letter of Intent can be signed until Wednesday. That won't make it any easier for the Tigers, who appear to be out of the mix as signing day approaches.
College football has a fascination with the No. 1 overall recruit. The top player generally gets way more attention than most of the other five-star players combined. Players like Jadeveon Clowney, Jimmy Clausen and Terrelle Pryor were famous before they graduated high school because they were on top of the Rivals (and other) rankings. And when the No. 1 player in the 2013 class was up for grabs, it was going to be a big story.
Every clue has been dissected, and Ole Miss seemed to be the frontrunner. Nkemdiche's brother Denzel is a freshman linebacker at Mississippi, and reports have said his mother wants him to play for the Rebels. That would make for an incredible recruiting class for Ole Miss. But just when it seemed there would be little drama, Nkemdiche sent a tweet on Sunday, following a visit to LSU, that make the week of national signing day much more interesting.
LSU pushing man !!!! Getting hard now !
— Robert Nkemdiche (@Aceboogie_001) February 3, 2013
Nkemdiche had more than 35,000 followers Tuesday morning and that number will grow as his decision gets closer, which is modern proof of the college football world's fascination with the No. 1 ranked recruit. A pass-rushing end with Nkemdiche's ability could make an instant impact on the 2013 season, and obviously beyond. His decision could shift the college football landscape for years. Look at the way Clowney has helped South Carolina.
The stakes are high. Ole Miss and LSU seem to be Nkemdiche's two options, though his recruitment has had an unpredictable nature to it and perhaps there's another twist in store. He is set to announce his decision at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
Players far behind Nkemdiche in the rankings could have a bigger impact on college football over the next few years, and Nkemdiche might not live up to the hype as the No. 1 player, more of a Bryce Brown than a Vince Young. But on national signing day, the stage is his.
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