With one tweet, the run-up to national signing day got a lot more interesting.
Robert Nkemdiche—the 6'4", 285-pound defensive end from Grayson (Ga.) High School, and the nation's consensus No. 1 overall prospect—will be visiting LSU this weekend, the final weekend before national signing day on Feb. 6.
LSU tommrow what up!— Robert Nkemdiche (@Aceboogie_001) February 1, 2013
It was later confirmed by ESPN.com's Kipp Adams that Nkemdiche and high school teammate David Kamara will indeed travel to Baton Rouge this weekend on official visits.
Well this certainly spices things up.
Nkemdiche, a one-time commit to Clemson, has been a heavy lean to the Ole Miss Rebels for months. His relationship with the coaches, coupled with the fact that his brother—linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche—starred on the 2012 Rebel defense, made it seem like he was virtually a lock.
Now, not so much.
So can LSU sway the superstar prospect?
I wouldn't dismiss the idea entirely.
The Tigers have two things that are very attractive for any high school prospect, particularly a star defensive end like Nkemdiche—prestige and playing time.
While Ole Miss may be the flavor of the season on the recruiting trail, LSU is a juggernaut in the SEC. The Tigers have won 10 or more games in each of the last three seasons and routinely compete for the SEC West, SEC and BCS titles.
If playing for a national title is one of Nkemdiche's top priorities, the path at LSU is much easier than it will be at Ole Miss.
That's not a knock against Ole Miss. Hugh Freeze has done tremendous things in his year-plus in Oxford, and reeling in a top 10 recruiting class with or without Nkemdiche would certainly make them even more competitive moving forward. But LSU is on a different level.
The Tigers may be going through a rebuilding year in 2013, but rebuilding years in Baton Rouge are still better than the 7-6 season Ole Miss just wrapped up.
Couple that with the fact that five of the six defensive ends on LSU's Chick-fil-A Bowl depth chart—including superstars Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo—are no longer with the program, and you have the recipe for a late-season recruiting coup for Nkemdiche in Baton Rouge.
It's still likely that Nkemdiche will walk through the Walk of Champions through the Grove next season and play for the Ole Miss Rebels, but the fact that he is giving LSU head coach Les Miles and his staff the last at-bat certainly has to make Rebel fans nervous.
With that said, the draw of playing with his brother and a coaching staff at Ole Miss that he has become very comfortable with will be too much to pass up. Nkemdiche will sign with Ole Miss.
But it's recruiting, and the situation is always fluid.