Robert Nkemdiche, one of the best prospects in the country – not at defensive end, period – offered Clemson a proposal: give teammate Ryan Carter a scholarship and the Tigers’ keep the blue-chipper’s commitment. Two players from Georgia’s Grayson High School are already commits. What’s one more?
Some look at this as brilliance, others nothing short of blackmail, but it’s hypocritical to come down on the Georgia native when his strategy is commonplace in recruiting. The recruits themselves just rarely get a chance to use it.
Here’s a list of names: Steinkuhler, Peter, Wistrom, Bullocks, Osborne, Green, Cotton and perhaps most prominently, Pelini. What do they all have in common? Family. Something that Nebraska football has been built upon for decades.
What do these Huskers both current and former have to do with Robert Nkemdiche?
“You’re going to have a new family, you’re not going to be a stranger, you’re not going to be lonely. There’s people here to take care of you.” Ross Els, in charge of Nebraska’s football recruiting, and thus the Huskers’ message to prospective players, says that the program he’s a part of is all about family.
Many players consider wearing the same colors and forging bonds to mean just as much as sharing blood, regardless of the level of competition.
Whether or not Andrew Green starts for the Blackshirts this season doesn’t change the fact that he’s related to a guy that was considered to be one of the two best running backs in Texas.
It doesn’t matter if Todd Peat, Jr. turns out to be Suh II, Nebraska may have struck out with mammoth brother Andrus, but there’s still Cassius. He’ll have a Husker offer, too.
How is what Nkemdiche did different from coaches who offer one brother to get to one or two more? If anything, it seems like he’s doing Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney a favor.
Rather than have to wait two cycles, Swinney may get an under-the-radar defensive back. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Carter turns out to be a four-year starter for the Tigers and his highly-touted teammate busts?
Clemson currently sits at 11 commitments for the 2013 cycle. Whether or not that number increases is up to Swinney’s ability to trim the fat.
He also has to consider that even though the Tigers got smoked by West Virginia in last season’s Orange Bowl, it was still his best year leading the Tigers. Once the bar for success has been raised, it’s not coming back down easily.
Yes, Nkemdiche will be only one of 11 players on the field, but even newer Nebraska fans know about one player changing an entire game. If the proposal to Clemson is brushed off, and he’s as talented as advertised, he’ll make his money.
No doubt Ole Miss offered Carter due to extensive research. That’s what we’re supposed to believe, anyway. Carter was excited to get that invitation and he should be. Regardless of his talents, he’ll most likely be playing with a teammate on national television.
The Rebels’ new head coach, Hugh Freeze, is in the clear if he gets the Grayson duo. Unlike the audacious Nkemdiche, he’s playing the offer game where it’s usually held – under the table.
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @eightlaces