Kayvon Thibodeaux, No. 1 recruit in ESPN 300, commits to Oregon

Defensive end  Kayvon Thibodeaux, the No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2019 class, committed to Oregon on Saturday, choosing the Ducks over Alabama, Florida and Florida State.

"Mario Cristobal is a great guy. On my home visit, he really touched down, my mom loved him," Thibodeaux said as he announced his decision on ESPN. "[I] can take over on defense. You can be the best man, the biggest man, that's my goal."

The 6-foot-5, 234-pound defensive end out of Westlake Village, California, is the first top-ranked prospect Oregon has landed since ESPN started its rankings in 2009.

Thibodeaux gives the coaching staff 10 commitments from the ESPN 300 and adds to an excellent defensive haul in this class to go along with No. 1 cornerback Mykael Wright and linebackers Mase Funa and Ge'Mon Eaford -- both top-10 outside linebackers at their position.

Oregon now has six ESPN 300 commitments from the state of California in this class.

Visiting Alabama, he took time to see 16th Street Baptist Church, which was bombed by Ku Klux Klan members in the '60s. On an unofficial visit to Florida State, he visited nearby Florida A&M in Tallahassee and toured the university's archives that focus on African-Americans' contributions to politics, science, education, athletics and more.

He has also thought about his life after football and already has a plan for once he finishes his playing career.

"I want to go into journalism. I want to be a commentator," Thibodeaux said. "I have a great voice for on-camera, and a great personality, so I feel like that would be a great fit for me."

His recruitment has taken some twists and turns, with schools jockeying for position to land him, but coach Mario Cristobal and his staff now have the top recruit committed and set to sign when the early signing period opens Dec. 19.

Under Cristobal, recruiting at Oregon has taken off, with 21 ESPN 300 commitments in the 2018 and 2019 classes, which is three more than the Ducks had combined from 2013 to 2017.

Before Thibodeaux's commitment, Oregon had the No. 6-ranked class in the ESPN class rankings.