Robert Nkemdiche, the most coveted football recruit in the nation, has decommitted from Clemson University.
"The writing has been on the wall for months," admitted National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons. "When he committed to Clemson this summer, it caught me by surprise. At this time, his decommitment is not really surprising."
Nkemdiche's decision comes in the wake of several visits to Ole Miss, including an upcoming trip to Oxford on Saturday.
"We were waiting," Simmons said. "Now everybody just waits to see if he commits to Ole Miss like many think he could."
The Rebels currently boast sophomore Denzel Nkemdiche, Robert's older brother, on the roster. "His mother has also been very involved," Simmons explained. "She would love for both sons to play at the same school. She has made that known.
"No one else can offer a family connection to Robert aside from Ole Miss."
With Clemson's 2013 recruiting class built around Nkemdiche, questions now arise in regards to his committed teammates, both Wayne Gallman and David Kamara, along with who could replace the nation's top prospect.
"[Running back] Wayne Gallman is 100% Clemson," Simmons explained. "He chose the Tigers on his own. That's where he wants to be. He's a four-star recruit and a big-time talent. I think he stays with Clemson and Clemson stays with him.
"With [cornerback] David Kamara, it'll be interesting to see if this affects him in any way," Simmons said. "He's very close with Robert, and they would love to play together. Right now, he's committed to Clemson. If Robert switches to Ole Miss or another school, I wouldn't be surprised to see David look around, too."
Although the loss of Nkemdiche heavily affects the upcoming class at Clemson, Simmons feels the Tigers are in the running for a top-notch replacement.
"Montravius Adams is visiting this weekend," Simmons said of the five-star defensive tackle. "Clemson was the first school to offer him. Adams' mother has also played a major role in his recruitment, and she'll be on campus at Clemson for the first time this weekend.
"If anyone could replace the best player in the country if Clemson has to do so, it would be the 7th best player in the country. Robert has not eliminated Clemson either, so you cannot rule the Tigers completely out at this time, so if they landed both, it would be an impressive duo on the defensive front."
With rumors surrounding the Rebels, what's next for Robert Nkemdiche?
"Everything points toward Ole Miss," Simmons explained. "Hugh Freeze has done a great job in his first year. The momentum is there on the field and in recruiting. [The coaching staff] will be there to see Robert in his game on Friday. It wouldn't surprise me to see Robert an Ole Miss Rebel before he leaves [Oxford] on Saturday, but that is something will just have to keep an eye on. I don't think it's a real coincidence that he decommitted today, before visiting Ole Miss with his family for the last time this season.
"The writing was on the wall for Robert to open things back up, so now we wait and see if he ends up on the Rebels' commitment list. Other schools may still be in play, but Ole Miss looks to have the real edge at this time."