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National signing day: No. 1 Robert Nkemdiche headed to Mississippi

February 06, 2013|By Chris Dufresne
  • Robert Nkemdiche, center, is congratulated after his announcement to play college football at Mississippi.
Robert Nkemdiche, center, is congratulated after his announcement to… (David Tulis / Associated…)

Signing Day is still young but the University of Mississippi is already exceeding the on-campus speed limit of 18 mph, which just happens to be the uniform number worn by former quarterback Archie Manning.

Ole Miss scored the first big hit Wednesday when top defensive end Robert Nkemdiche announced he would be attending school in Oxford, possibly portending the football rise of yet another Southeastern Conference program.

"After much discussion and prayer I have decided to attending the University of Ole Miss," Nkemdiche said at an early-morning announcement on ESPN.

Ole Miss, which finished 7-6 last year under coach Hugh Freeze, could be the next SEC to watch. The conference has won the last seven BCS titles and shows no signs of letting up. The SEC seperates itself from others on the defensive line with signings such as Nkemdiche, listed at 6-5and 260. South Carolina already boasts the nation's best defensive lineman in man-child Jadeveon Clowney.

Ole Miss had the recruiting advantage with Nkemdiche, from Loganville, Ga, because his older brother, Denzel, is already a member of the Rebels' football team.

"I'll be able to look after him and take some care of him," Denzel said of his brother, "and we'll be able to win the national championship together."

Wow, that's some pretty bold talk for a team that finished 3-5 in conference and has to get past Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M just to win the SEC West.

Robert Nkemdiche originally committed to Clemson but ultimately chose Mississippi over LSU and Florida, two other SEC schools.

Gee, what other leagues would a defensive lineman even consider?


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