LOGANVILLE, Ga. -- Last Thursday, Mark Richt announced that Daryl Jones had joined the Bulldogs’ staff as the new director of on-campus recruiting. The news spread quickly, especially to the nation’s No. 1 recruit.
“I just heard the news that he went to Georgia from a college coach today,” said Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson). “He and I were so close, and now he is at Georgia doing his thing.”
When Jones was at Grayson High School, he coached Nkemdiche. The five-star defensive end remembers Jones well.
“I love that dude, and we had a really good relationship,” Nkemdiche said. “He used to coach me when I was a freshman and he was so hyper. Now he is at Georgia, so I know when I go up there he is going to make me like Georgia even more because I like him a lot.”
Those words should excite the coaching staff at Georgia, which is among Nkemdiche's top six schools, along with Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Texas. The Under Armour All-American says he has no leader among those six and that he will take more visits -- to LSU, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi State -- before he makes a decision.
What the Jones hire means for the Bulldogs’ cause remains to be seen.
“It depends on when I go down there and talk to him how much it helps Georgia,” Nkemdiche said. “It will help them, but I cannot put my faith all in one man, because they can leave in one quick second.”
In the meantime the Georgia coaches continue to build a relationship with Nkemdiche, although they did not attend his spring practice game Friday.
“Ole Miss is here, Alabama is here, Clemson is recruiting me, LSU is recruiting me -- Georgia is on me -- it is just crazy,” Nkemdiche said. “It does not hurt that UGA is not here, because I spoke to them every day this week. One of my assistant coaches calls them and puts me on the phone with them every day. Three or four minutes every day.”
Nkemdiche says that no matter where he winds up, Richt made a good hire in Jones.
“He was wild, and he would just jump on the defensive backs when they got an interception,” Nkemdiche said. “He was hyper but also always positive. He was never pessimistic. He will do great wherever he goes, and it will help him in recruiting. Prospects will like that about him.”