Nkemdiche vs Clowney
By BJ Bennett
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Does Robert Nkemdiche enter college with more hype, or better film, than South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney?
Loganville, Georgia-native Robert Nkemdiche is the nation's can't miss recruit for 2013. At 6'5'', 265 pounds, some analysts believe that the two-time prep All-American could have played in the National Football League this past season. Though he could likely excel anywhere on the defensive line in college, most project him as a prototypical defensive end. The absolute consensus top player in the football recruiting pool, Nkemdiche is the type of player whose ability and hype transcends time. Many have asked where he ranks all-time in terms of being high school's most heralded recruit.
While some five-star prospects never fully grasp hold of success at the college level, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has ripped the mantle completely off the wall. Not yet NFL eligible, Clowney tied for second nationally this past season with 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. A rising junior, he has essentially been preordained as the top overall pick in next April's draft and for good reason. Clowney's physical tools are unlike any we have seen at the amateur level in years. Coming out of high school in Rock Hill, South Carolina at 6'6'', 250 pounds, Clowney was the clear top prospect in the class of 2011.
With players like Nkemdiche and Clowney, the big stage expectations are set before a single ball is snapped. Pundits are currently comparing and contrasting two of the most high-profile defensive recruits of all-time. Their film offers a much more poignant point of reference.
Robert Nkemdiche, Grayson High School (Video: PrepForce.com)
Jadeveon Clowney, South Pointe High School (Video: AthleteVault.com)
Nkemdiche will reportedly decide between the likes of Ole Miss, Florida, LSU and Georgia on National Signing Day. Robert, who originally verballed to Clemson, has a brother, Denzel, who is a very good linebacker for the Rebels. Nkemdiche will enter college with as much hype as any prep player in history, Clowney included. For now, though, it's the South Carolina All-American who has set the bar, and the gold standard for highlight videos, at a new high.