Robert Nkemdiche’s growth

Hugh Freeze was asked earlier today “how different” Robert Nkemdiche is this year than last. His response was not about Nkemdiche on the field.


Freeze: “I hope through all of our character training programs we do and our core values and the people we bring into speak, all the things we’ve done … it seems he is more mature.”

Nkemdiche’s first year included his being named in a civil lawsuit after a fraternity house incident and something around the bowl game that caused him to miss the first quarter.

One of the things that has stood out about Robert Nkemdiche as he’s been made available to the media a few times is how well he handles interviews.

Lots of players are confident in their skills. That doesn’t always translate to looking questioners in the eye and giving solid answers. Nkemdiche has done that from the beginning.

It takes a certain getting used to the interview process to reach that level. No doubt he honed his skills during his recruitment.

More Freeze: “One of the things we battle in recruiting all across the nation is … the expectations that kids like him, that people place on him. It gives you a bit of a false sense. In his case he’s so talented that it was pretty accurate, but you can start believing some of that too much. You focus in-ward on you too much. Now it’s like he’s really understanding the we before me part. I’m proud of his maturity and know there will be challenges along the way because he’s such a magnet for people. We talk every day about the challenges he’ll face with the gifts he’s been given.”


Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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