Arjei Henderson, a five-star wide-receiver, decommitted from Oregon via his Twitter account on Sunday. The 2019 prospect out of Richmond, Texas made an early commitment to the Ducks in July.
Henderson did not give any reasoning for his sudden decommitment, only that he will hold off on his decision until signing day in 2019. He made this decision one day after taking an unofficial visit to Oklahoma, so that could have played a role.
Henderson is the only 5-star commit that Oregon has landed in Willie Taggart’s short tenure in Eugene. He was also the first commit for Oregon’s 2019 class, and immediately put the Ducks in position to build off its strong 2018 group, and maybe even put together a better one. Recruiting is a year-round process for coaches, so it’s just back to the drawing board for Taggart and staff.
It’s not the end of the world for the Ducks, but losing the commitment of a top-30 player in the country certainly doesn’t help. If Oregon wants to prove that its recruiting rise is for real, it has to start landing some 5-star prospects, or at least more top-100 recruits.
Of the top-10 recruiting classes for 2018, Oregon is the only one without multiple top-100 commitments. In fact, aside from Florida, Oregon is the only without at least three. Florida also has Oregon beat two-to-zero in top-50 recruits. While it’s obvious that Oregon has made bounds in recruiting, it’s not quite at the level of the other top dogs.
The weekend’s visits
Oregon has several visits scheduled for the upcoming weekend in which the Ducks take on Arizona.
According to The Oregonian’s website, the Ducks have five official visits slated for this weekend. One of which is the already committed Travis Dye. The 3-star running-back is the younger brother of Oregon defensive star Troy Dye, and has been committed to the program since April.
Two junior college defensive players, safety Haki Woods Jr. and defensive-end Bryant Pirtle, are also visiting Oregon. The two are teammates at Pima Community College, so it will be interesting to see if the two decide to remain teammates at the next level. Woods committed to, then decommitted from, Arizona last month, so Oregon hopes to snag him from a conference rival.
3-star tight-end Michael Ezeike has the potential to be an underrated pick-up for the Ducks should he choose to end up in Eugene. At 6-foot-5, Ezeike will be hard for a quarterback to ignore.
Finally, 4-star receiver Marquez Ezzard will be making an official visit this weekend. Ezzard decommitted from Florida State over the weekend, and is ranked 190 on the Armchair Top 300.
While none of these players are considered to be on the same level as Arjei Henderson, a commitment from any will be huge for the Ducks. Losing a top 2019 prospect is huge, but there is still plenty of time to figure out that recruiting class. Oregon should remain focused on building up its 2018 class that is already one of the best in the country. Once that class is set up, then Oregon can start working on filling the hole that Henderson left for 2019.