2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 10 Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
We’ve reached the Top 10 of our Top 100 SEC players list and will unveil the remaining players daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
10. Robert Nkemdiche, Soph., DT, Ole Miss
Nkemdiche spent his first fall camp in 2013 adjusting to the college game as the nation’s most hyped freshman, learning the playbook and understanding where he fit as a defensive end along the Ole Miss defensive line. Despite missing three games last season with a hamstring injury, Nkemdiche garnered SEC all-freshman honors and made the freshman All-American team with great production as he relied on strength and speed — without much technique — as a first-year player. He’s since made the switch from outside pass rusher to tackle as a sophomore, spending the entire spring and much of this fall practice in a three-point stance with impressive results.
He’ll work primarily inside, but Nkemdiche gives the Rebels a rare luxury defensively as a multi-position threat. Dave Wommack can line up the 6-foot-4, nearly 300-pounder anywhere in the front seven and the chances of him being a dominant defender would be great. Nkemdiche’s the SEC’s top defensive tackle heading into the 2014 season and will post the numbers to prove it by December. A run-stopper and pass-rush threat who is relentless in pursuit, Nkemdiche’s the total package up front.
2013 statistics: 34 tackles, 3 sacks
2014 projection: 47 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks