After two weeks of rumors, free agent signings, a coach leaving, and player releases, the Michigan Panthers officially bring back their All-USFL running back. Originally confirmed via Corbin’s retweeting, the Michigan Panthers on January 11th announced Reggie Corbin and former 1st Round Pick Robert Nkemdiche out of Mississippi.
While the signing of Corbin could be extremely monumental for the Panthers, bringing in Nkemdiche may have slightly overshadowed news, that Corbin confirmed several days ago. Nkemdiche becomes the 2nd 1st-round pick the Panthers have secured and ironically, they are both members of the 2016 draft class. Drawing comparisons to USFL legend Reggie White, college recruiters applauded Nkemdiche’s ability to rush quarterbacks from the edge or bull-rush guards and centers from the trenches, due to his rare combination of size, speed and strength. ESPN regarded him as one of the best High School prospects since the 1980s, and he was Ole Miss’s highest rated recruit since Eli Manning.
While at Ole Miss Nkemdiche continued to be a force earning Freshman All-SEC honors, and in 2015 earned All-SEC honors while also being named 2nd team All-American. Despite an off the field Marijuana issue, Nkemdiche still was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1st round. After the three underwhelming seasons in Arizona, and injuries issues in 2019 Nkemdiche found himself bouncing around the NFL, having stints between the Dolphins, Seahawks, and the 49ers before ultimately getting cut San Francisco in August of 2022.
Nkemdiche joins a re-vamped Defensive Line that sports another Ole Miss Alum Breeland Speaks, CFL alum Garrett Marino, XFL Sack leader Cavon Walker, and NFL alum Ethan Westbrooks. The addition of Corbin also solidifies the running back room as the Panthers return their 2022 leading rusher and easily a Top-3 Running Back in the USFL. The recent signings of Nkemdiche and Corbin bring the Panthers roster to 63 with less than 100 days left till the USFL season.