Dabo Swinney reportedly was willing to do something Nick Saban wasn’t to land the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Grayson (Ga.) defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.
Emphasize reportedly, because polarizing USA Today handicapper Danny Sheridan is behind the report.
Sheridan, of course, also claimed that the NCAA knew the name of the bagman that allegedly paid Cam Newton to come to Auburn. But when push came to shove, Sheridan elected not to give up his source and was scolded by the NCAA.
Nkemdiche chose Clemson over everyone, including LSU and Alabama. The decision came after two of his best friends, Grayson defensive back David Kamara and running back Wayne Gallam, committed to Swinney.
Gallman committed to Clemson in mid-April, while Kamara waited until June 14 to tell Swinney he’d join the Tigers. Nkemdiche then surprised most recruiting pundits by pledging his allegiance to Clemson shortly after Kamara did. So if Alabama did turn down a commitment from Nkemdiche in return for signing Kamara and Gallam, it likely happened before April.
Nkemdiche’s high school coach Mickey Conn played college football at Alabama with Swinney, but told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he believed LSU, not Alabama, was the runner-up.
When asked on Twitter about the source behind his report, Sheridan wrote that it was the same people who told him former Tide backup Phillip Sims was transferring to Virginia and added, “I would not rely on a booster or fan for this info. Enough said.” Sims did end up transferring to Virginia.
Take that for what it’s worth, and the value of any Sheridan report is, to be gentle, debatable. So when he later added that Tide wide out Duron Carter may play in the opener against Michigan, Alabama fans may not want to get overly excited. Carter is believed to be ineligible.
In the meantime, could this be the beginning of a recruiting trend, where players try to assume more power in the negotiating process by getting a free ride for the teammates?
Nkemdiche did not immediately respond to a comment request made via Twitter.