They say that “it’s good to have choices” in life, and few high school juniors have the choices that Robert Nkemdiche does. The unanimous No. 1 high school football recruit in the class of 2013, could quite literally go to any college in the country he’d like, and that school would be thrilled to have him.
That’s also why it was a bit surprising when Nkemdiche announced earlier this winter that he planned on making his college decision on May 18. Granted, we all understand that Nkemdiche doesn’t want his college choice to become a distraction. At the same time, it was tough to figure out what the big rush was, especially on a decision so important.
Well apparently Nkemdiche is starting to feel the same way, and on Monday night announced that he would postpone his college choice, likely until right around Signing Day 2013.
He told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:
“I’m just not ready yet,” Nkemdiche said. “This is one of the biggest decisions of my life. I want to go see some new places, and go back to some other places to spend more time with the coaches and to check out the campuses. It’s a big decision, and I want to get it right.”
Simply put, this is the best decision that Nkemdiche could’ve made.
As he correctly mentions, choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions an 18-year-old could ever make, and with all the love that he’s getting, Nkemdiche owes it to himself to gather as much information as he possibly can before making that decision.
Of course in addition to “just” making a college choice, being a high-profile football player makes everything that much tougher. On top of factoring in things that most normal kids worry about like “location” “academic programs” and “cuteness of the coeds” he’s also got to worry about coaching staffs, schemes and competition levels. Given the way college football staffs turnover these days, I truthfully don’t know why any kid wouldn’t want to wait until after his senior season to see how everything shakes out. If you commit before your senior year, there’s a reasonable chance that the coach you committed to won’t be there by Signing Day.
Then there is the geography of it all, and I think it’s important that Nkemdiche considers that too. I found it interesting that when Nkemdiche released his final list of five schools he planned on choosing from, all of them were in the Southeast. At the time, he had Alabama, Ole Miss (where his older brother plays), LSU, Clemson and Georgia as his leaders.
Well now it’s nice to see that Nkemdiche has expanded his list beyond schools in the SEC footprint, and that he’s also considering taking visits to places like Texas, USC and Oregon. As easy as it is to forget, Nkemdiche is still a kid, and there’s probably a pretty reasonable chance he hasn’t spent much time outside the Southeast. Why not use the recruiting experience to take in different schools, in different parts of the country, with the unique cultures and traditions that come with them?
To Alabama and Ole Miss fans (and of course those at Clemson, LSU and Georgia too), I’m sorry that you’ll have to wait another eight months on high school football’s best player.
But for Robert Nkemdiche himself, this was absolutely the best decision he could’ve made.
For all his opinion, insight and articles on college football, follow Aaron Torres on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.