Strongside DE Robert Nkemdiche (6'5 270, 4.56 40), the #1 overall recruit by the major services, went public with his commitment to Clemson today, which we believe actually occured last evening. Obviously he had offers from the entire planet.
Tremendous body structure on this guy: height, arm length, and powerbase. He's looked like that since he was a sophomore who racked up 19 sacks as a DT, then backed it up with 19 more as a Junior DE. A true physical specimen like Julius Peppers, but not quite the speed rusher of a Clowney. I would say that Nkemdiche is the more complete of the two because of his slightly better physical development, and he plays a little more complex assignment (2-gap 3-4) than Clowney, who is your prototype pass rushing 4-3 DE. Robert is also able to move in and outside if needed. They would be neck and neck in any recruiting ranking if they came out at the same time, but I won't lie to you and say definitively that Nkemdiche is the better player. Clowney is one I saw in person, and he was the most phenomenal player I've ever seen in HS ball. I think his explosiveness separates him as a pass rusher, but Nkemdiche has a power advantage.
Every article about Nkemdiche mentions his work ethic as a player who has wanted to be the #1 overall recruit in the nation. He looks like he's been very well coached in technique, I have to commend his coaches. He fires off the ball low and understands leverage, playe behind his pads, his hand usage is good, and his power and quickness are outstanding. He also has the ability to stand up and rush too, as Bama recruited him as a possible JACK linebacker. As I stated above he also played DT as a sophomore. He's a 5-technique SDE at Clemson, with an ability to move in at the 3-tech in passing situations like Da'Quan Bowers did.
He starts from day 1, this is a future 1st Rd NFL pick if he stays healthy.
He becomes Clemson's prized recruit, but do not think for one moment that anyone will back off of this him. We will be fighting to hold onto this recruit until the end. His chief recruiter was Tony Elliott.