NFL prospect Robert Nkemdiche has come clean regarding the December 2015 incident in which he plummeted 15 feet out of an Atlanta hotel room window: he was drunk. This revelation, USA Today noted, could have negative ramifications on the future career of the once highly-sought-after University of Mississippi defensive lineman.
“I told them the truth: It was a rash decision by me,” clarified the 21-year-old defensive lineman of the incident that December night. According to ESPN, Nkemdiche elaborated, “It was uncharacteristic and that’s not who I am. That’s not what I stand for, that’s not what my family stands for. It was embarrassing for me and my whole family and the whole Ole Miss family.”
“I told [teams] that’s not the kind of player they’re getting,” Nkemdiche continued. “They’re getting a straightforward player, and I’m never going to return to that. I’m just moving forward and embracing this moment.”
Robert Nkemdiche on drug charges: ‘nobody wanted to take the fall’: https://t.co/iLwlSAgjwz— Social In Atlanta (@SocialInAtlanta) February 26, 2016
Despite his earnest expression of “telling the truth,” however, this sound byte was one of several topics at Nkemdiche’s NFL scouting combine press conference to leave reporters in attendance with far more questions than actual answers.
What is known is that the Ole Miss star player was charged by Atlanta police for possession of marijuana. Per NBC Sports, Atlanta police reported the following.
“At approximately 2318 hours, Zone Two units responded to a person injured call where a male had fallen from a hotel room window. Upon arrival, the victim was conscious and breathing. He was transported to Grady Memorial and was in stable condition. Inside the hotel room, units located a small amount of suspected marijuana. The window was also broken out. It appears that the victim broke the window and then walked approximately 15 feet and climbed over a wall and fell approximately 15 feet. GI Squad and the Narcotics Unit responded to the scene along with the Crime Scene Unit. It should be noted that the injured person is Robert Nkemdiche, a football player from Ole Miss.”
Furthermore, according to ESPN, officers investigating Nkemdiche’s room that night at the Grand Hyatt revealed the presence of “seven rolled marijuana cigarettes, rolled in Cigarillo Blunt papers,” and also noted that “the room was in complete disarray.”
At the time, the possession was linked to Nkemdiche as the room was registered in his name.
According to Nkemdiche, the issue came in that the room was shared with several teammates. In part, he blamed his own lack of discretion for this fact.
“I have changed. I have lasered my focus,” said the Lombardi award semi-finalist, All-SEC first-team, and All-America second-team selection by the Associated Press.
According to NBC Sports, meanwhile, Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil — who was reportedly also in the Atlanta hotel room at the time of the incident — said the following of Nkemdiche.
“A lot of people don’t know about Rob, man. He’s a great guy, a humble guy. He had a little few off-the-field incidents, but you know… you have little hiccups.”
Nkemdiche is quick to admit that he was often too lazy in failing to go all-out for plays during his college career. At the same time, however, the player noted that he has always tried to stay away “from things that could take football away” from him. In 2015, the lineman recorded a record seven tackles for a loss and three sacks, but was suspended from the team’s Sugar Bowl bid due to his aforementioned arrest.
“I know what’s at stake. I know what I have to do as a player to be great in the NFL,” said Nkemdiche. “I’m just going to keep focusing on the things I need to focus on as a player that I didn’t focus on so much in college that I know I need to get better at.”
To date, Nkemdiche has had just one official team interview, with the Washington Redskins, but noted that the Detroit Lions will follow and that more could be in the works. He also says that he is to be believed because “it’s the truth.”
[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]