The football world has been waiting for this moment for the last half decade.
Kayvon Thibodeaux is headed for the NFL. The Oregon defensive end announced via social media he will forego his senior season and intends to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Thibodeaux has had NFL written all over him since he starred at Los Angeles' Dorsey High School before transferring to Oaks Christian to improve his surroundings and exposure during a recruiting process that saw every major program pursue him as the No. 1 prospect in his class during his final two-plus years of high school. The L.A. native chose not to stay home, instead heading north to play for Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks, making Oregon football must-see TV for every game in which Thibodeaux appeared.
Thibodeaux earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors in 2019 and was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2020. An ankle injury kept him from posting gaudy numbers in his final collegiate season, but, when healthy, he's proven to be a game-wrecking edge rusher who's impossible to ignore on tape and is clearly a blue-chip player in the eyes of NFL scouts.
Thibodeaux has long been built like a future NFL edge rusher and should be a top-five pick in April. This was among the least surprising declarations in some time, though it's likely the departure of Cristobal (who left Oregon for Miami) made the decision even easier on the coveted prospect.