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Why LSU Won't Fret Missing on No. 1 Recruit Robert Nkemdiche

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers looks on before playing against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 6, 2013

No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche has officially committed to Ole Miss, choosing the Rebels over the LSU Tigers and Florida Gators.

This will go down as a marquee recruiting win for Hugh Freeze and the Rebels. Nkemdiche is 6'4'', 284 pounds and runs a 4.65 40 according to 247Sports, so for all intents and purposes he projects to be an elite player at the college level.

Landing Nkemdiche is huge for Ole Miss, but what does this mean for LSU?

While Ole Miss was a notable favorite, the Tigers were able to snag a final official visit with the nation's No. 1 recruit, and it was one that appeared to have gone very well. At the very least, LSU looked like it had a chance to perhaps pull off an upset, but the Tigers last-minute push obviously fell short.

As much as landing Nkemdiche would have helped LSU's program—especially with star defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo leaving for the NFL—this is a loss that Les Miles and his program can easily endure.

In fact, the Tigers will be just fine without Nkemdiche.

As it stands, LSU still projects to bring in a good class on national signing day, barring any unforeseen flips.

Defensive end is a huge position of need for the Tigers, and Miles went out and filled that need admirably on the recruiting trail. The big recruit to watch out for on the edges of LSU's defense will be 4-star strong-side defensive end Frank Herron, who's ranked as the No. 7 strong-side defensive end in the country according to the 247Sports Composite.

LSU also got an important recruit enrolled early in Christian LaCouture, the No. 15 strong-side defensive end in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. L

That's not to mention 3-star weak-side defensive ends Michael Patterson or Lewis Neal.

Finally, as if that's not enough, the Tigers boast the commitment of 4-star outside linebacker Kendell Beckwith, who could also jump down to defensive end if need be.

Landing Nkemdiche would have been a monumental signing day upset for the Tigers, but when you really look at the talent they already have coming in through this 2013 class, there really is no reason to be upset if you're an LSU fan.

This class still projects to be amongst the best in the nation, and LSU will be just fine at defensive end.


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