Schools to Watch After 4-Star Jared Mayden Decommitted from Oregon

Tyler Donohue@@TDsTakeNational Recruiting AnalystJanuary 6, 2016

Credit: 247Sports

Defensive back Jared Mayden decommitted from the Oregon Ducks on Wednesday morning, ending a six-month verbal pledge to the program, via Twitter.

"I continue my journey to find my 'right fit,'" he wrote. "After speaking with [defensive secondary coach John] Neal to inform, I am respectfully decommitting from the University of Oregon."

Mayden, a 6'1", 190-pound senior at Sachse High School in Texas, initially announced intentions to attend Oregon in July. He committed to the Ducks while attending The Opening, an annual invite-only showcase held at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

Rated No. 10 nationally among cornerbacks, Mayden was a pivotal member of a 2016 Ducks class that featured five 4-star defenders until today. Oregon loses a player it could have counted on to compete for early rotational reps next fall, slipping to No. 21 overall in composite class rankings.

Mayden reaffirmed his pledge to the program midway through his senior season, so this late change of plans puts a damper on the Ducks' defensive outlook. It also presents a compelling option for alternative collegiate coaching staffs who are attempting to close strong just four weeks shy of national signing day.

Mayden, a 4-star prospect considered one of Texas' top 20 talents in this cycle, reopened his recruitment just days after a significant shuffle among Oregon's staff. The Ducks demoted defensive coordinator Don Pellum, according to the Oregonian's Andrew Greif, and assistant Erik Chinander accepted a coordinator position at UCF, according to FootballScoop.com.

Prior to his midsummer commitment, Mayden identified coaching staff cohesion as a key factor in his search.

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"I'm just looking for a school that has a good tradition and stable coaches," he told Bleacher Report's Damon Sayles. "I'm trying to go somewhere and win, but it's really going to depend on how I feel about the coaching staff."

Weeks before the Oregon pledge, Mayden admitted his decision-making process included an expansive list of possibilities. Aside from the Ducks, a late-June announcement revealed a top-seven list that included Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State and UCLA.

The Seminoles seemed to be a program to monitor in this pursuit even before Mayden severed ties with Oregon. He expressed plans to spend an official visit at Florida State earlier this month during a discussion with Gabe Brooks of Scout.com.

That trip to Tallahassee is slated for Jan. 15 and time is limited to visit elsewhere before national signing day. Mayden also told Brooks he is eying a potential LSU visit, though a date hasn't been publicly nailed down.

Both LSU and Florida State boast a stockpile of impressive defensive backs in this cycle.

The Tigers claim commitments from 5-star cornerback Saivion Smith, along with 4-star secondary standouts Cameron LewisEric Monroe and Andraez Williams. The Seminoles' haul is headlined by No. 1 overall cornerback recruit Levonta Taylor and 4-star Miami safety Jamel Cook.

Mayden didn't exactly shut things down during his Oregon commitment, journeying to Georgia and Michigan for in-season official visits. Those trips occurred in September, so things have clearly changed for those respective classes since, and the Bulldogs are now led by a new head coach.

With visits to Athens and Ann Arbor already in the books, expect both programs to readdress his status moving forward. Florida State has to like its chances as the first team to host Mayden post-decommitment and may move into a front-runner role if it provides the answers he's looking for late in this cycle.

His younger brother, Jalen Mayden, is a sophomore Sachse quarterback who already holds scholarship offers from Oregon State, Syracuse and Houston. Where Jared ends up could ultimately play a pivotal factor in how things shape up for a young prospect primed to become one of America's most coveted high school underclassmen.

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.

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