The big guy is back, y’all. As first reported by The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar, Robert Chukwudumebi Nkemdiche is back in the National Football League after being signed by the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.
ESPN’s Brady Anderson went on to say that Nkemdiche reached out to Seattle about his interest in another shot at playing in the league and, per sources, did not disappoint, going as far as to say that he “crushed” a workout with Pete Carroll in attendance.
After spending a few seasons in Arizona with the Cardinals following a first-round selection, Robert Nkemdiche was labeled as a “bust” after he failed to record any sacks and didn’t start a single game during his first two seasons in the NFL.
Keen on silencing the doubters, the Atlanta, Ga. native had 4.5 sacks in 10 games (six starts) in 2018 before a knee injury ended his hot start.
Robert Nkemdiche fumble recovery for a touchdown pic.twitter.com/5KoRUy83xB— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) December 24, 2017
After that, the Cardinals grew impatient with the former Rebel, finally giving him the boot after head coach Kliff Kingsbury was unhappy with him arriving to training camp out of shape.
Arizona released him with a failed-physical designation before the 2019 season.
Nkemdiche briefly had a stint in Miami, playing in two games with the Dolphins, but was released shortly after.
The former No. 1 overall player in the 2013 class played in 11 games as a true freshman in Oxford, exploding onto the scene in a last-minute win over Vanderbilt. That season, Nkemdiche made 34 tackles and had three quarterback hurries, two sacks, and two pass breakups. He was named first team Freshman All-American and first team Freshman All-SEC after year one.
As a sophomore, he was a part of one of the country’s best defenses, holding opponents to 16 points per game and helping Ole Miss make the first ever College Football Playoff rankings. He started every game in 2014 and led the conference in tackles for loss.
Big Rob was named a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award, first team All-SEC, and second team All-American.
Now that Nkemdiche is being given another shot in the NFL, one would hope that he makes the most of it. He has tremendous talent and oozes athleticism that most 300-pounders do not have.
If the big guy can stay focused and in shape, the sky's the limit for him in Seattle. If not, he always has the saxophone.