This article was originally written for our partner site for A&M recruiting analysis, TheOther98.com
The frequency of de-commitments in modern recruiting can rub some people the wrong way. A segment of Oklahoma fans are certainly going to be displeased with Arjei Henderson’s recent decision to do so - for the second time.
The four-star recruit backed off his pledge just weeks before the Early Signing Period, but said that now he is hoping to have his mind made up for the final time around the Under Armour All-American Game. Henderson’s first commitment was to Oklahoma, but he nixed that shortly before it was announced that Bob Stoops planned to resign ahead of last season. He then was briefly committed to Oregon before flipping back to OU in April of this year.
Prior to re-committing to the Sooners, he included Texas A&M in his Top 3. With the Aggies now pretty well stocked with pass-catchers in this class, he’s got his eyes on a different trio of finalists in Florida, Georgia and LSU.
While he’s yet to confirm visit plans with any of them just yet, it appears as though the Gators are first in line to get a crack at him.
“When I was committed, I always still heard from them,” Henderson said of the Gators staff. “I never really replied because I was committed, but when I made the announcement that I was de-committed, they were the first people to hit me up again. I definitely looked into it and we’ve kept a relationship since then.”
LSU could certainly use another receiver in this class. The only such prospect committed to this point for the Tigers is Trey Palmer - who is as strong of a defensive back as he is an offensive talent. Henderson might also be persuaded by a personal connection that could help lure him to Baton Rouge.
“The distance is definitely something I’m keeping in mind too,” he said. “LSU is definitely a good fit. Also, Grant Delpit, the safety out there, is a guy that I’m really close with. We have some family ties and I’ve been talking with him a lot and he’s been in the coaches ear a lot.”
More immediate family ties could also play a role in his decision. Henderson’s brother, Piellei Henderson, is a 2020 cornerback at Buda-Hays and the family would prefer to see them both play their college football with the same program. That, along with other criteria that he's learned through his recruitment, has prepared Arjei to make the best choice that he can with his final decision.
“Being committed to Oklahoma and then de-committing, this process taught me a lot,” he said. “I think that this being the last time I’m committing and Signing Day approaching soon, I’m looking into this one deeper than I ever have.
“I’m making this decision not only for me, but keeping my family’s interest at heart to make the best decision.”