The quest to land Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s consensus No. 1 prospect, has taken a number of twists and turns for several schools.
That list includes both LSU and Clemson, who will meet Dec. 31 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Nkemdiche, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, told ESPN that his top four finalists are LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss and Clemson, though Oregon also remains in contention.
A Clemson commitment back on June 14, Nkemdiche threw his recruiting process back open Nov. 8, when he announced his decommitment from the school.
He said Ole Miss had become his new front-runner, an unsurprising development with his brother Denzel already playing linebacker for the Rebels, and their mother having expressed her desire that they play together.
Denzel Nkemdiche’s pronouncement Nov. 24 that Robert would be publicizing a commitment within two weeks only added fuel to the recruiting speculation surrounding his brother.
But that commitment never materialized, and Robert Nkemdiche told ESPN that while the Rebels are in the running they are not necessarily the team to beat.
Nkemdiche said he will begin taking his official visits the week after he plays Jan. 4 in the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
He told ESPN two of his five official visits will go to LSU and Oregon, but he is unsure whether he will take officials to Alabama, Clemson or Ole Miss.
According to 24/7 Sports, Nkemdiche has taken unofficial visits to LSU (in March), Ole Miss, Alabama, Georgia and Clemson.
Two other LSU recruits — Kendell Beckwith (6-3, 225) of East Feliciana and lineman Maquedius Bain (6-5, 285) of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University — are set to announce their commitments during the Under Armour game.
Beckwith, considered either a defensive end or athlete prospect, is reportedly a lean to LSU over Alabama. Three major recruiting services say that Bain has committed to LSU, apparently he does not want to make his pledge public until the Under Armour game.
Technically, LSU is still at 23 commitments. The Tigers’ 2013 class is ranked No. 6 by Rivals and No. 8 by ESPN, 24/7 Sports and Scout.