No matter how well a football player trains, game day will always test the will of any great athlete. It is no different for Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche.
The junior from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) started experiencing cramps as early as the second quarter against Alabama on Saturday. His cramps got so bad that he asked one of his coaches to give him a little breather, but his coach told him to dig a little deeper for something extra.
“It was just a battle. That’s one of the best teams in the country, so it wasn’t easy,” Nkemdiche told reporters after practice on Tuesday. “It was very hard. It was a very good football team, very good coaching staff.”
During Ole Miss’ first two games versus Tennessee Martin and Fresno State, Nkemdiche averaged about 20 snaps per game. Against Alabama last Saturday, Nkemdiche estimated he played about 85 snaps.
“It was crazy. I was like ‘How did I do that?’ My body was telling me how I did after the game because I felt awful. The bus ride after the game was awful,” Nkemdiche said.
The cramps and heavy workload didn’t seem to slow down Nkemdiche, as he was named this week’s SEC Defensive Player of the Week.