Robert Nkemdiche, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the nation who has committed to Clemson, is backing off comments that he might look elsewhere if Clemson did not offer one of his high school teammates.
The big defensive end and Clemson commitment from Loganville, Ga., created a stir last week when he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution an offer to Grayson High teammate Ryan Carter would cement his commitment to the Tigers. Nkemdiche implied in that story that because of his close relationship with Carter, he might look elsewhere if Clemson didn’t offer.
But on Sunday night, Nkemdiche told The New York Times that he’s a solid commitment to Clemson, regardless of what happens with Carter.
“Of course, I would want to play with him,” Nkemdiche said of Carter in the interview with the Times. “But if it doesn’t work out, I’ll still go to Clemson. I didn’t give coach (Dabo) Swinney an ultimatum about anything. I hope he doesn’t feel obligated to offer anybody a scholarship because of my commitment.”
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Clemson has three other Nkemdiche teammates set to join the program this season and next.
Carter, a defensive back, has an offer from Ole Miss. The Rebels offered him the day after Nkemdiche committed to Clemson in June. Nkemdiche also has a brother who plays at Ole Miss and said he will take an official visit there during the season to see him play.
“I think we want to play together,” Carter said. “It’s his decision if he wants to come play with me if I don’t get that offer.”
Carter said he’s favoring Ole Miss, but that would change with a Clemson offer.
“I’m pretty sure it would be an automatic commitment to Clemson if they offered,” he said.
Wide receiver Ryan Jenkins of Marietta, Ga., announced a commitment to Clemson on Sunday night. Jenkins chose the Tigers over Oklahoma State, and his decision will pair him with his brother Martin, who is a Tiger defensive back.
“Because my brother is there already, I have a great familiarity with the program, the coaches and the players,” he said during his announcement on ESPNU. “There’s a comfort level there I don’t feel anywhere else. It was going to be hard to turn Clemson down.”
Jenkins is the Tigers’ 12th commitment for the 2013 class and the first wide receiver.
Three Tigers named to watch list
Clemson senior running back Andre Ellington, junior quarterback Tajh Boyd and sophomore wide receiver Sammy Watkins all were named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, presented to the top player in college football.
Only Southern California had more players than Clemson on the list with four. Clemson, Arkansas and Oklahoma each had three representatives.