The next time we’ll see Robert Nkemdiche play, it will be on Sundays.
After getting suspended for the upcoming Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma State, Ole Miss’ star junior defensive lineman released a statement Sunday indicating his plans to declare for the NFL Draft.
“While I wish I could have finished this journey with my team, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this program, and I am ready to begin the next phase of my life,” Nkemdiche said in the statement. “I have learned a valuable lesson in the last week, and I look forward to showing NFL personnel that this in not representative of my true character. I want to thank my coaches, my teammates and Rebel Nation for their support these past three years, and I look forward to making them proud for years to come.”
Nkemdiche wasn’t the only person to comment on the news of his departure for the NFL, or his suspension for the team’s upcoming bowl game.
“Last week, our Athletics Director and I informed Robert that he will not be joining us for the bowl game,” Ole Miss Hugh Freeze said in a statement released on Sunday.
“In addition, Robert has decided to declare for the NFL Draft, and we will continue to support him as he prepares for the next chapter in his life. I look forward to sharing with NFL general managers and scouts what a unique and talented individual he is. Robert has made an immeasurable impact on our program, and we are forever indebted to him. He and his family will always be part of the Ole Miss family.”
The consensus No. 1 prospect out of high school in 2013 played 11 games this season, amassing 29 tackles, including seven for loss, as well as three sacks, seven quarterback hurries and two pass breakups. Nkemdiche is expected to be a top-five pick in the draft.
Nkemdiche was suspended for the Sugar Bowl just days removed from being charged with possession of marijuana.
The defensive lineman fell from a fourth-floor window at an Atlanta-area hotel last week and required stitches in both his legs and his back. Nkemdiche has denied using synthetic drugs.
Shortly after the announcement was made, Nkemdiche released a statement regarding the news.