Yesterday, Rivals.com issued their very first five-star rating of the 2013 class, sending recruitniks and fans of schools yearning for recruiting victories into a frenzy, and marking the de facto beginning of the 2013 recruiting season. The player to receive this coveted five-star rating and the presumable #1 overall recruiting prospect is Grayson, Georgia defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the brother of Ole Miss defensive back Denzel Nkemdiche.
This would give one cause to assume that Ole Miss has a leg up on Nkemdiche's recruitment but, aside from getting an early foot in the door, Ole Miss is playing catch up to its SEC counterparts who have done things like "win football games" over the past few seasons. His top schools are, as you'd expect, Alabama and Georgia, with Florida and LSU tossed in the mix for good measure. He is as legitimate a nationwide prospect as any player on the 2013 board because he, per Rivals, "is the rare prospect that not only has a great frame, terrific instincts, solid athleticism, sound technique and a high football IQ, but plays the game with great energy seemingly at all times."
Ole Miss' only realistic chance with Robert Nkemdiche hinges on three factors: the influence his brother will have on his decision making, the ability of Freeze and staff as recruiters, and the actual performance we see out of the Rebels in 2012. Even then, though, the Rebels seem to have a distant shot of out-recruiting Alabama, Florida, or Robert's home state Georgia Bulldogs.
It goes without saying that, were Nkemdiche to commit to Ole Miss, it would be a solid foundation for the 2013 recruiting class. Currently the Rebels have one 2013 commit, Kalio Moore, a halfback out of Rosedale whose uncle played ball for Ole Miss a generation ago. He is widely considered one of the better offensive prospects in Mississippi for next fall, and alone could serve as an excellent foundation for future recruiting success.