Oregon’s top-ranked pledge, WR Theo Howard, de-commits

The Oregon Ducks have lost their top-ranked 2016 commit, Theo Howard. The 4-star wide receiver from Westlake, Calif. announced his decision to de-commit from Oregon on Sunday night. 

"I would like to thank all of the coaches at Oregon and all of the fans in Eugene as well as for everything, but I have decommitted to make sure I make the best decision for my future in becoming a man and developing as a student-athlete," Howard wrote.

Howard originally committed to Oregon in mid-March and had been one of the most vocal recruiters for the Ducks. The news came as a surprise to other Oregon recruits, including 4-star cornerback Jared Mayden.

"That was all we talked about last night," Mayden said, according to Andrew Nemec of The Oregonian. "We were surprised. Some of them were mad, because he was the main one making our class great, going out and getting recruits. It was weird to see him up and leave. Just disappointment around."

"I'm not really mad or disappointed in him, but it was kind of surprising," Mayden said. "It's something crazy that happened, seeing how he was one of the main players that recruited me. It's kind of crazy to see that. It seemed like he was the one that was going to be the most solid out of the first guys that committed."

(h/t The Oregonian)