Photo-realistic Death Valley replica!
Conn not surprised with Nkemdiche's decision

  by - Senior Writer - Friday, June 15, 2012 12:57 PM

Clemson will use Nkemdiche as a defensive end and short-yardage running back.

Many people were surprised when the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche Robert Nkemdiche
Defensive End
6-5, 265
Loganville, GA

View Full Profile
, gave his verbal commitment to Clemson and head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
View Full Profile
Thursday afternoon.

His head coach at Grayson, Mickey Conn, wasn’t so surprised, saying that the commitments of fellow Grayson players and good friends David Kamara David Kamara

5-11, 185
Loganville, GA

View Full Profile
and Wayne Gallman Wayne Gallman
Running Back
6-1, 195
Loganville, GA

View Full Profile
played a big role. Gallman had committed earlier in the recruiting cycle, while Kamara [Nkemdiche’s best friend] gave his commitment late Wednesday.

Conn also said that Clemson’s family atmosphere played a big role.

“I was a little surprised, but in many ways and overall I wasn’t,” Conn told TigerNet Friday. “I think Dabo and his staff are a great staff, and they made them all feel like they were at home. With his best buddy David committing and Wayne Gallman committing, he wanted to be with his friends in a family atmosphere and he felt like Clemson was that kind of place for him.”

Conn drove Nkemdiche and Kamara up to Clemson from Loganville for the visit, and said it really didn’t take long for Nkemdiche to realize he had found a home.

“He just wanted me to take him up there, and once he got there, he said, ‘This is the place I want to be.’ I told him to make sure he was sure,” Conn said. “I told him this was a big decision, and then I know that Dabo talked to him about it to make sure. Sure enough, he made the decision to commit.”

Nkemdiche’s recruitment won't stop with his verbal to the Tigers – all of the big-time programs covet his size, speed and athleticism – but Conn said he doesn’t know what to expect at this point.

“I really don’t know,” he laughed. “I’ve never coached the number one player in the country before. I am finding out about all of this as I go along.”

Conn said he knows that schools will still be going after Nkemdiche with a vengeance, but he doesn’t see him changing his mind.

“There are a lot of things that can happen during the course of a football season,” he said. “Things change. But I think he made his choice, and he loves it there. I think this is what he really wants to do, and as long as things stay the same, he will stick to it.”

Conn said the Tigers are getting an NFL-caliber talent.

“They are getting a player that can do several things,” he said. “I know they want him as a defensive end, and they are also going to play him at running back in short-yardage situations. He is an impact player immediately. They are looking at a guy that, in my opinion, will be a first-round draft choice in the NFL after three years.”

Rate this Story:
10 votes
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
    Tigers play "road game" during Monday morning practice - 1 month ago
    Clemson plays two of its first three games on the road, and head coach Dabo Swinney moved the team across the road to Jervey Meadows for Monday morning's practice in an effort to get players out of their comfort zone.What does he say about the move? What did he see on film after the scrimmage? Full Story »
    Young backs and receivers, defense highlight first fall scrimmage - 1 month ago
    The Clemson football team held the first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday morning in Death Valley, and head coach Dabo Swinney said that several young players stood out on offense while the defense stood tall in short-yardage situations. Full Story »
    Swinney says tough week of practice is "by design" - 2 months ago
    The Clemson football held the first of what will be two Friday practices during a rainy morning session, and the team will follow up tonight's practice with the stadium scrimmage early Saturday. Why did he schedule so many sessions in a short time frame? What is the latest injury report? Full Story »
    Tiger Bytes: Dabo on Kurt Fleming, Jay Jay McCullough and other camp nuggets - 2 months ago
    Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said that 55 out of the 60 minutes during Tuesday's practice were spent going good on good. What is the latest injury report? What does he say about the kicking game? What are his thoughts on the running backs? Full Story »
    The Boys Are Back In Town - 2 months ago
    College football at Clemson finally gets back underway with the start of fall practice Friday, putting an end to downtime and trying to invent things to talk about. The boys are back in town. Full Story »

Post your comments

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Sign Up for News Alerts
Daily Digest