Robert Nkemdiche says Dec. incident was a 'rash decision'

ByPaul Kuharsky ESPN logo
Friday, February 26, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- A contrite former Ole Miss defensive lineman,Robert Nkemdiche said he was drunk when he made headlines after falling off an Atlanta hotel balcony in December.

Nkemdiche faces a marijuana possession charge as a result of the balcony fall at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, Georgia, on Dec. 12. He said he's paid some fines, but the case is still pending.

Nkemdiche denied he used drugs, saying he was drunk and that the charge resulted from the actions of another member of his party. When no one would take the blame, the charge was aimed at him because the room was in his name, he said.

According to Nkemdiche, Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who could be the top pick in the draft, was one of the people with him in the hotel room.

"I told them the truth: It was a rash decision by me. 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," he said to the assembled media at the NFL scouting combine. "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 -- they're getting a straightforward player, and I'm never going to return to that. I'm just moving forward and embracing this moment."

With regard to his performance on the field, Nkemdiche conceded that he didn't finish some plays as a college player but said that won't be the case for him as a football player moving forward.

"I know what's at stake. I know what I have to do as a player to be great in the NFL. 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."