Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche released a formal apology Tuesday, just one day after being charged with marijuana possession after he took a fall at a hotel near Atlanta ESPN reports.
“I want to apologize to Rebel nation, my teammates and coaches for my actions last weekend,” Nkemdiche said in statement issued by the school. “I made a mistake and put myself in an environment that doesn’t reflect who I am as a person.”
Police searched Nkemdiche’s room after he fell on Saturday night at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead. According to the incident report, the investigating officer found “seven rolled marijuana cigarettes, rolled in Cigarillo Blunt papers” and reported that “the room was in complete disarray.”
According to the incident report that was released Monday, Nkemdiche went through his hotel room window and fell onto a ledge that surrounds the building. He then fell from that ledge to the ground. Officers linked the drugs to Nkemdiche, who was charged with possession of marijuana.
Atlanta police estimated and reported Sunday that both falls were about 15 feet. Police also reported to ESPN.com on Sunday that the hotel room window was broken. The investigation is ongoing concerning Nkemdiche’s fall, according to the Atlanta PD.
The incident report also states that Nkemdiche was conscious and breathing as he was lying on the ground near the Hyatt’s sidewalk and driveway. Atlanta Police spoke to Nkemdiche and several of his associates, and none of them said they knew why Nkemdiche had fallen out the window.
Nkemdiche countered a FOX Sports report that cited sources who said he used synthetic marijuana on the night of his fall. Synthetic marijuana does not show up on drug tests.
“Contrary to a report by FOX Sports, I did not use synthetic drugs,” Nkemdiche said. “I realize the dangers of drugs and alcohol and regret the lapse in judgment. This does not reflect the core values that my mother and father instilled in our family. I am a very spiritual person, and drugs have no place in my belief system.”
Nkemdiche was ESPN’s No. 1 overall prospect when he first signed with Ole Miss out of Grayson High School, which is located in Loganville, Georgia, just outside Atlanta. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Monday that he was told by Nkemdiche that he had gotten stitches in his back and leg and also had a swollen ankle.
Freeze said he isn’t quite sure whether Nkemdiche would be back in time for the Sugar Bowl.
He is considered one of the top prospects for the 2016 NFL draft should he decide to pass up his senior season with the Rebels. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. lists Nkemdiche as the No. 5 overall prospect on his Big Board and the top defensive tackle.
“As I move forward, I have learned a valuable lesson about the ramifications of a bad decision,” Nkemdiche said. “I have worked very hard to have this platform, and I want to use it in the right way and be a role model for young players. I am sorry for putting Coach Freeze in this position and I will accept whatever consequences are necessary, but my hope is to finish this year’s journey with my brothers.”