On national television, with his freshman All-American brother by his side, Robert Nkemdiche put an end to one of the most followed recruiting stories in college football history. Before the sun had completely risen on National Signing Day, the top prospect in all the land signed his letter of intent to the University of Mississippi.
After over a year of speculation and a four-month commitment to the Clemson Tigers, Robert Nkemdiche chose the Rebels, making him the highest rated player Ole Miss has ever signed.
"The deciding factor was the fan base, the coaches and the team is on the up rise," Nkemdiche said. "They were a good program to me. I feel like a couple of different things could have changed the outcome of this season with three or four more wins."
The Under Armour All-American took officials to Florida, Ole Miss and LSU.
"It was a hard choice," Nkemdiche said. "LSU and Florida were right there. It's hard to separate yourself, but you got to do what you got to do sometimes. It was hard to say I'm not coming there, but I can't come to all of the colleges."
In a somewhat surprise move, Nkemdiche committed to Clemson back on June 14. As the 2012 football season went on, Nkemdiche would find himself in Oxford at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium several times throughout the Rebels climb back out of the ashes left from the 2011 season.
On Novmber 8, Nkemdiche decommitted from Clemson and named Ole Miss his leader the following day. With top programs like Florida, LSU and Alabama giving chase, Ole Miss was still able to pull away in the end.
The Rebels get the 6-4, 285-pound defensive end out of Grayson, Georgia who has been wowing coaches and analyst for several seasons with a unique combination of power and speed that has made him a terror for opposing teams. He is arguably further along now then South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney was when he came out of high school.
If the early morning signing of Nkemdiche is a sign of things to come for Ole Miss throughout the day, then get ready for a record setting ending to Hugh Freeze's first full year of recruiting for the Rebels.
Ole Miss already boasts a projected top ten finish for the Class of 2013 but now with the consensus No. 1 player signed, the Rebels could be eyeing a top five finish.
Robert is now officially set to join his brother and current Ole Miss linebacker, Denzel on the field for the first time since being high school teammates in 2010.
After thousands of phone calls and tens of thousands of text messages over the course of his recruitment, Nkemdiche can finally relax and count the days until he enrolls at Ole Miss. Robert had his pick of any major college program in the nation, but in the end he chose family above all else.
"It's a relief it's over," Nkemdiche said. "I don't have to worry about this and this all day now."
Robert Nkemdiche, the top player in the entire country, is a Rebel.