On how he’s been since making his commitment to Ole Miss: “It’s been way better as far as recruiting-wise. I’ve got probably a few coaches, one or two schools, that’s hitting me up since the commitment, but I’m 100 percent committed and ready to get on campus early.”
On when he decided on Ole Miss over Louisville: “Honestly, my final decision came the day of the Under Armour All-American Game. Leading up to that, I had been saying I would let either coaching staff know ahead of time throughout the week. But I honestly hadn’t come to a conclusion of which school I felt most comfortable with. I was feeling Ole Miss, of course, from the very beginning. Louisville came in real hard on me. I had been knowing (former Louisville defensive coordinator Todd) Grantham since my freshman year. That played a big part.
“But I think the nail in the coffin was the hire of (Ole Miss defensive coordinator Wesley) McGriff. Once they made that hire, that, in the back in my mind, summed it up where I wanted to go. Game day I ended up talking to my linebackers coach at the Under Armour game and got some of his advice, and basically went with my heart and my best decision. That was going to Ole Miss.”
On his official visit for the Egg Bowl showing Ole Miss’ need for an impact LB: “You could tell right then they needed linebackers really bad. That was a big part of my decision. Of course me being an early enrollee, I’m not trying to come in and sit behind or redshirt or have to worry about any of that. I’d rather stay my second semester and enjoy my high school career if I’m going to do that. I felt like at Ole Miss and the way that coach McGriff wants to play me, I felt like I had a chance to showcase my abilities way more than I would have at Louisville.”
On following the Nkemdiches from Grayson (Ga.) High School to Ole Miss: “Talking to (Ole Miss head) coach (Hugh) Freeze from the beginning, from the jump, he named Denzel as the player that he sees me as. He was a Freshman All-American, All-SEC. He did his thing while he was there, so of course I’m going to always be held to the standard of Robert and Denzel. But they didn’t really factor into my decision that much.
“I’d say there’s going to be a lot of future key players going to Ole Miss by me going there right now. We’ve got a lot of young talent at Grayson. So hopefully with them coming up I can pull a few more of them in so it becomes a pipeline.”
On his recruiting pitch to other recruits: “You want to go in, come into somewhere where you’ve got a chance to play? You can beat ‘Bama every year. And aside from that, it’s a family feel. The coaches are going to look out for you. They’re not necessarily just going out looking for the next man up. They’re going to always have their best interest in you. That’s why I felt most comfortable with coach Freeze. He’s a players’ coach.
“There’s not many head coaches out there that’s players’ coaches. You get close with your position coaches, but as far as coach Freeze, he’s a great guy. He’s connected with his players. He understands us. He talks to us. He tries to get know us every year, the different players he gets. That’s what I tell (other recruits). Ole Miss is somewhere where you’re going to feel comfortable, you’re going to get a chance to play early and you’re going to be somewhere where you have a family, a foundation behind you. People are going to look out for you. The whole town, basically. Everybody is going to look out for you.”