College football officially is back when the Ole Miss Rebels take on the Vanderbilt Commodores next Thursday night, and we could get the first look of the next star to emerge in college football.
Rebels defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s No. 1 player in the 2013 recruiting class, is viewed as the next “elite” pass-rusher to join the SEC, following in the footsteps of Jadeveon Clowney and other great pass-rushers who have had impact career in the best conference in America.
Nkemdiche is an explosive performer with excellent size, and will make an immediate impact on a defensive line that is already one of the better units in the SEC. The 6’4″, 282-pound defensive end could contribute on the edge or create problems as an interior rusher.
Ole Miss’ staff is already very impressed with what they’ve seen:
“He’s physically gifted enough to play, so it’s all about can he understand what we’re trying to accomplish, what his assignments are,” coach Hugh Freeze said over the weekend. “If he can get that, there’s no question he can physically play. [The defensive coaches] better be trying to get him ready.”
“You don’t have to do anything to his body to make it already what it needs to be to play in this league,” Freeze said in March. “He’s so far ahead of the curve with that. Now, it’s just a matter of him being mentally able to turn his athletic ability loose because he’s confident in what he’s doing.”
USA Today did an in-depth profile on Nkemdiche and why he might not be able to live up to the hype this year.
ESPN also named Nkemdiche to their preseason freshman All-American team.