|Nkemdiche stays committed to Tigers despite outside distractions|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:18 AM||
The more that universities and different sports media entities try to delve into the reason that Robert Nkemdiche Robert Nkemdiche
View Full Profile chose Clemson over dozens of other offers, the more the bond between Nkemdiche and Clemson grows.
Nkemdiche has recently been profiled in an article in ESPN The Mag in which his mother is quoted as saying her son’s recruitment is not final. Newspapers in his home state of Georgia look for ways to stir up drama surrounding the Loganville Grayson defensive linemen, generating hits and selling papers to be sure.
However, at the end of the day, Nkemdiche still says he is committed to Clemson, and feels like Clemson is the school that can help him realize his dream of playing at the next level, pot-stirrers be damned.
His smile may have been the biggest of any of Clemson’s recruits who took in Saturday’s win over Ball St., as he was able to put the drama of recruiting and the overwhelming scrutiny of everything he says or does away for a while, and just be a young man on a college visit.
Nkemdiche told TigerNet last week that he knew what he was getting into once he learned how high-profile he would become, and credits Grayson defensive line coach Lenny Gregory for helping smooth the way.
“I wasn’t really surprised by any of this,” Nkemdiche said. “My coaches told me this was going to happen, and they told me I was going to get a lot of attention. I am just staying hungry. And the coaches really help me stay grounded.”
I asked Nkemdiche if it was true that Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile tried to get him to NOT commit during the June visit when he gave his verbal, and he said yes.
“He did. He really did,” he said. “I just had the mindset that there was nowhere else I would rather go. I like Clemson a lot because it is family-oriented and they have really good coaches. When you talk to the coaches, it is not just about football – they talk about other things. I liked that. And I saw something different in Coach Swinney.”Nkemdiche said that his relationship with Clemson defensive line coach Marion HobbyMarion Hobby
Assistant Coach / Defensive Ends
View Full Profile is a factor that often gets overlooked in his decision to choose the Tigers.
“Even before I went up there, me and coach Gregory talked about it,” he said. “He said, ‘When you go to college, you have to see what coach will help you technique-wise and get you to the next level.’ He talked to all of the defensive line coaches across the country, like Brick Haley [LSU] and coach Hobby. I know that he really liked Marion Hobby, and when I got up there I knew in my heart that he was the kind of coach that could help me get to the next level.”
Nkemdiche broke into a big smile when he was asked about the number of Clemson fans that showed up to support him and his Grayson teammates in a showdown against Miami Central a week ago, calling the fans ‘My Tigers.’
He was asked what visits he will definitely be taking, and he said Clemson and Ole Miss. However, playing the game is what he most wants to concentrate on.
“My brother plays at Ole Miss and I will be going there, just to watch him play,” he said. “And I will be going to some Clemson games. But this is what I love doing - what we love – and when we play all the newspaper clippings go away. It is just all about football. I am just real focused on the season right now. I just want to stay grounded right now.”
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