Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's top recruit and a Clemson commit, made headlines last week after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story about his desire to have the Clemson coaches offer high school teammate, defensive back Ryan Carter.
In the article, Nkemdiche, a defensive end who has his pick of schools, told the paper, "… if Clemson offers Ryan, it would seal the deal" on his commitment to the Tigers. He also noted: "If Clemson doesn't offer Ryan, it would make me look at Ole Miss a little more," since Carter has an offer from the Rebels.
Now Nkemdiche is backtracking.
Nkemdiche told the New York Times that regardless of whether the Tigers offer Carter, he still plans on attending Clemson.
"I didn't give Coach Swinney an ultimatum about anything," Nkemdiche told the New York Times. "I hope he doesn't feel obligated to offer anybody a scholarship because of my commitment."
Even though Nkemdiche might not have issued an explicit ultimatum to the Clemson coaching staff, his comments above about Ole Miss had to strike a nerve.
Three of Nkemdiche's Grayson High School teammates are already committed to Clemson - running back Wayne Gallman, defensive back David Kamara and former Grayson quarterback Nick Schuessler gave up his scholarship at Mississippi State to be a preferred walk-on with the Tigers — which is part of the reason Nkemdiche ended up with the Tigers instead of taking one of the higher profile offers on the table.
Adding Carter, who currently has offers from Ole Miss, Georgia State, Tulane, Arkansas State and Southern Miss, would be icing on the cake.
"It's very important that I have my boys with me," Nkemdiche told the AJC.
But it's no surprise that Nkemdiche wanted to clear the air, especially since he came off looking like a bit of a prima donna in the article even if that wasn't his intention. Now, if Clemson offers Carter, there will be a question about whether the young man deserved the offer or whether it was to appease Nkemdiche.
In any case, it's still a long road to signing day in early February and recruiting is a very fickle mistress. At any time, for no reason, a player can change his commitment to another school. And trust that every school who wanted Nkemdiche is taking a hard look at Carter and deciding whether they want to bite on the package deal in an effort to get the nation's best recruit on their roster.
- Ole Miss