While Clemson did a yeoman’s job of landing a verbal commitment from the consensus No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2013 last month, keeping Robert Nkemdiche in the fold over the next could prove to be the most difficult obstacle Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff have to navigate.
The defensive end, though, is making life very simple for the Tigers. Offer a scholarship to yet another teammate — two have already received offers from the Tigers — and he’s all in at Clemson.
“I am waiting on Clemson to offer Ryan; when that happens, it’s locked … it’s a done deal … it’s over,” Nkemdiche told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, referring to Loganville (Ga.) Grayson High School defensive back Ryan Carter.
“Yes, sir, if Clemson offers Ryan, it would seal the deal. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. David and Ryan, those guys are like family. They are like brothers to me. I’m close to them. We’ve had success playing football together and I don’t want to change it.”
The “David” Nkemdiche refers to is defensive back David Kamara, who committed to Clemson in the middle of last month and is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.
Carter, on the other hand, is not rated by that recruiting website — he’s a two-star player according to 247Sports.com — and, aside from an offer from Ole Miss, has only lower-level offers from schools such as Arkansas State and Tulane. Clemson, though, told Nkemdiche “they like Ryan a lot and that he’s at the top of their board.”
Package deals are far from a rarity in recruiting, but Nkemdiche’s very public stance has somewhat backed Clemson into a corner. If Swinney offers someone of the on-paper talent level as Carter, he risks the perception of kowtowing to the whims of a 17-year-old. If he doesn’t offer Carter, he risks losing a player who’s the No. 1 recruit according to every major recruiting service.
Nkemdiche wouldn’t outright declare that Clemson would be out if Carter isn’t offered, but did say that Ole Miss — his brother plays there as well — would garner a hard look based on the Rebels offer to his teammate.
“If Clemson doesn’t offer Ryan, it would make me look at Ole Miss a little more, it would,” Nkemdiche said. “It’s very important that I have my boys with me.”
Yeah, good luck to whichever team ultimately nets Nkemdiche’s Herbie Hancock on a Letter of Intent next February.