Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 2/6/13
Sure it might be cliché, but Christmas really did come in February for Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels football program. That’s because after months of waiting, anxiety and unease, the No. 1 high school player in the country, Georgia defensive end Robert Nkemdiche committed to the Rebels on Wednesday morning. For those who follow recruiting, the news wasn’t totally surprising; as a matter of fact, it was expected. For weeks it was believed that Nkemdiche would be a Rebel, and it was only a matter of if and not when he’d sign his Letter of Intent to play in Oxford. Nkemdiche’s older brother Denzel plays for the Rebels, and it’s been known for a long time that his mother preferred that he attend school in Oxford as well. Not to mention that over the course of the season he took unofficial visits to Oxford multiple times, while rarely visiting other schools. At the same time, nothing’s ever official until the ink goes dry, and for Ole Miss fans everywhere, the last few days, hours and minutes have been a long, exhausting wait. After saying he wouldn’t visit any other schools, Nkemdiche took a surprise visit to LSU last weekend, and the Rebels also had to fend off a late charge from Florida as well. Now that he is in the fold however, it’s impossible to say what kind of impact the player of Nkemdiche’s size and skill-set can bring to the mix in Oxford. This club already had an elite offense that had no problem putting up points in Freeze’s first year on campus, and with the addition of the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, that likely won’t be an issue in 2013 either. But to add an edge pass-rusher like Nkemdiche could be an immeasurable addition to this team’s defense; heck, look at what a force Jadeveon Clowney has become at South Carolina, and how every offense in America has to compensate to take of him. And for the Rebels, this day could still bring plenty more good news. Hugh Freeze’s staff is still awaiting word from a number of big-time recruits, and appear to be in play for the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, another top defensive end in Chris Jones (who is currently committed to Mississippi State) and local safety prospect Tony Conner who played his high school ball right up the road at South Panola, a prominent feeder high school to the Rebels program. It’s safe to say that it’s already been a great day for Ole Miss, and will likely only get better going forward. Hotty Toddy Gosh Almighty! What a day for Ole Miss.   For all his insight, analysis and opinion, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres. Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.
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