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Thomas Graham, nation's No. 44 prospect, commits to Oregon

New coach Willie Taggart didn't need much time to get Oregon recruiting moving in the right direction.

A little more than a week after he took over the Ducks, Taggart has his second verbal commitment and first big statement on the recruiting trail, as Thomas Graham, the nation's No. 44 prospect, announced his commitment to Oregon.

Graham, from Rancho Cucamonga High School in California, selected the Ducks over Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska, Notre Dame and UCLA.

Graham took official visits to all his finalists apart from UCLA, though he visited Oregon before Taggart was hired and Nebraska before the Huskers hired cornerbacks coach Donte Williams -- with whom Graham built a strong relationship -- away from Arizona.

Taggart was able to get an in-home visit done with Graham before the recruiting dead period began this past Monday, which was huge in selling Graham on his vision for the future at Oregon. That, combined with some recruiting efforts from fellow Oregon commit and high school teammate Jaylon Redd, was enough for Graham to select Oregon.

A one-time commitment to USC, the 5-foot-11, 177-pound cornerback joins athlete Darrian McNeal as Taggart's commitments since last week. Graham is the third ESPN 300 commitment for Oregon and now easily the Ducks' highest-rated commitment.

It's certainly welcome news for Oregon, which hit a recruiting rough patch during the coaching transition from Mark Helfrich to Taggart.

The Ducks lost a commitment from ESPN 300 cornerback Deommodore Lenoir hours before Helfrich was fired, then saw ESPN 300 defensive end Langi Tuifua, junior college offensive lineman John Vaka and ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Colson Yankoff announce their decommitments after Helfrich's departure.