Clemson had a whirlwind 18 hours of football recruiting capped Thursday night by the news that the nation’s top rated player by some analysts, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche of Loganville, Ga., had committed to the Tigers while at Dabo Swinney’s camp.
Nkemdiche spent Wednesday and Thursday at Clemson’s camp with two of his teammates, running back Wayne Gallman and defensive back David Kamara, both Clemson commitments.
Nkemdiche had more than 50 offers and, as recently as two weeks ago, had a top six that did not include the Tigers. Those six were Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi and Mississippi State.
Last season, Nkemdiche had 59 tackles with 18 sacks and 17 quarterback pressures. He’s the Tigers’ ninth commitment for the 2013 class.
Also Thursday, the Tigers landed junior commitment Dylan-Sumner Gardner, 6-foot-1 ,190- pound defensive back from Mesquite, Texas.
“Clemson felt like family,” said Sumner-Gardner, who rode a bus from Texas to get to Clemson’s camp. “It just felt like everybody was on the same page and the coaches were really cool.”
Sumner-Gardner said former Clemson star safety Brian Dawkins was his favorite player and he’s excited about the chance to play in his image.
“It has always been my childhood dream to play here,” he said. “I had this opportunity to play at Clemson and I wasn’t going to pass it up. I am not Brian Dawkins but I want to be the new Brian Dawkins.”
He also has an offer from TCU and had been drawing interest from Oklahoma, Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas. He’s the second junior commitment this week for the Tigers and the third for the 2014 class.
The commitment run began late Wednesday night when Nkemdiche’s teammate, Kamara (5-11, 185) committed to the Tigers. Kamara chose the Tigers over LSU and Ole Miss. He has had the Tigers at or near the top of his list since early in the year after twice making visits.
“I am a determined player,” he said. “I won’t ever give up. They will get everything possible out of me.”
Playing cornerback, Kamara had 52 tackles with four interceptions and 17 passes broken up last season.