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February 5, 2013

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Top recruit Nkemdiche expected to sign with Rebels

ATLANTA — Robert Nkemdiche is just about everybody's number one prospect on national signing day.

Rivals.com, Scout.com, ESPN, CBS Sports and 247Sports all give No. 1 rankings to Nkemdiche, the big defensive end from Grayson High School near Atlanta.

That's good news for Mississippi. Nkemdiche (kem-DEE-CHEE) is expected to sign with the Rebels early Wednesday morning.

Louisiana State and Florida are believed to be Nkemdiche's other finalists. Nkemdiche's last visit was to LSU last weekend. The big edge for Ole Miss is Denzel Nkemdiche, Robert's older brother who led the Rebels in tackles as a redshirt freshman linebacker last season.

The family connection may be an insurmountable advantage, but the late decision to visit LSU added drama to Wednesday's announcement. Nkemdiche's updates on his final visit provided encouragement to LSU fans.

"LSU pushing man!!!! Getting hard now," Nkemdiche tweeted.

In another tweet, he said "LSU pulling out da facts!!!"

Nkemdiche made a public commitment to Clemson last year but then changed his mind, de-committing in November as Ole Miss again moved to the front of his list.

Grayson coach Mickey Conn said that Nkemdiche has been under tremendous pressure and has "clammed up pretty good" about his plans.

"I think it's been extremely tough on him," Conn said. "He's getting pulled in more directions than what most people want. People dream of having this opportunity, but the one thing that gets left out of this is the pressure. The stress of making the right choice is something a lot of people don't understand, and then you involve the family aspect. Having a brother who is playing at Ole Miss adds more pressure to Robert.

"He wants to make the right choice."

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