Oregon's 2022 recruiting class has seen some drastic movement in recent months, particularly at the skill positions, losing commitments from three wide receivers as well as a tight end, all of whom have since signed with new programs after verbally pledging to the Ducks.
Newly-minted Offensive Coordinator Kenny Dillingham was one of the first hires Dan Lanning made and he's been hard at work on the recruiting trail trying to salvage this class. One prospect he's taken a keen interest in is Arlis Boardingham, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound do-it-all athlete from Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, Calif.
The Ducks became one of three programs to offer in the last month, along with the Florida Gators and the Arizona Wildcats. With some big-name programs entering the picture just a month out from signing day, Boardingham's recruitment has started to pick up some steam.
"My recruitment has been just about as crazy as I can think of it," he said of being coveted by numerous programs. "Got offers from schools I knew I had the talent to play for, but didn’t think the opportunity was coming."
Oddly enough, he's attributed the new interest he's received to the coaching carousel, which has sent shockwaves throughout the college football landscape, creating new team identities and approaches.
"I think the coaching changes all over the country have done nothing but help me, provide new thinking for a lot of new places," he said. "I don't believe Oregon and Florida would’ve offered me if these coaching changes didn’t happen. See guys they’ve missed, it’s a blessing."
With Oregon now pursuing him, he's already begun building a relationship with Dillingham.
"He made it a point to make sure we have a strong relationship. We talk almost every other day now on regular checkups,' Boardingham said. "Straight froward guy, very honest with what he’s asking for and I can appreciate that in coach."
The Ducks have laid out their vision for him in their new offense, and it sounds like it's right in Boardingham's wheelhouse.
"He’s seeing me in more of that spread-type package. Being a versatile tight end," He said of Dillingham's vision for him in the offense. "He recruited me because of my versatility and my ability to be a mismatch wherever I go. Said he needs that in his offense."
Boardingham's versatility is hard to miss on tape. Doubling as a track athlete, he has high-end speed for an athlete his size (10.9 in 100m). He returns kicks for touchdowns and makes defenders miss running out of the wildcat.
He described some of the strengths to his game.
"That I can do it all," he said with confidence. "I'm a mismatch on linebackers cause I'm faster and my hands are better. Mismatch to defensive backs because I'm a bigger person I'll go up and get the ball. The size and speed makes me a difficult athlete to game plan for."
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The interest is mutual between him and the Ducks.
"Despite them coming on late I think I’m still very interested in Oregon," Boardingham told Ducks Digest. I think they’re possibly one of the schools I could call home the next three to four years."
He took it a step further and said he plans to be in Eugene for an official visit the weekend of Jan. 22, following an official visit to Florida the weekend prior.
The offense Dillingham plans to install at Oregon is what stands out the most for him, but he also has a clear vision for what he wants at his next stop.
"Just a school that’s gonna treat me not just as a football player but as a person," he said. "Help me grow in both those areas, help me get to the next level. Take a chance on me and allow me to help grow the program."
Boardingham plans to sign in February but won't enroll in the spring as he wants to finish out his high school track career in events like the long jump, triple jump and the 100-meter dash.
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