Top-25 senior Franck Kepnang announced his commitment to Oregon on Saturday, giving Dana Altman his third ESPN 100 pledge in the past month.
Kepnang chose the Ducks over several schools, although Texas A&M and Ohio State were heavily involved down the stretch of his recruitment.
A 6-foot-11 center who attended Westtown School (Pennsylvania) and played for the PSA Cardinals on the grassroots circuit, Kepnang is ranked No. 22 in the ESPN 100 for the 2021 class. He's the No. 4 center. Kepnang is a fifth-year senior and Oregon has two open scholarships for the upcoming season, leaving open the potential for a midyear enrollment if both sides are interested, sources told ESPN.
Kepnang is one of the most imposing big men in the class and physically ready for the next level right now. He's powerful, very athletic for his size and plays with a high motor. Offensively, he's an emphatic finisher, good rim-runner and capable vertical spacer.
Kepnang is the third commitment for Oregon in the 2021 class, following top-10 prospect Nathan Bittle (No. 8) and four-star small forward Johnathan Lawson (No. 47). Bittle committed in late September, while Lawson made his announcement earlier this week.
Bittle and Kepnang are both 6-foot-11 frontcourt players, but they should be able to fit together in Eugene. With those two up front, it will make for a different type of lineup than we've recently seen at Oregon, especially last season when Altman used a small-ball alignment featuring 6-foot-6 Addison Patterson and 6-foot-8 Chandler Lawson in post positions.
But Kepnang's physical dominance is a good complement for Bittle's face-up skill and floor-spacing ability. The key will be on the defensive end. Kepnang will provide rim protection and rebounding ability, but he also has pretty good agility for a guy his size, so there should be enough versatility to coexist in most matchups. Oregon will lose four seniors after the 2020-21 season, with Will Richardson and N'Faly Dante candidates to test the NBA draft waters early.
The Ducks remain in the mix for elite guard Jaden Hardy (No. 4) -- the younger brother of current Oregon guard Amauri Hardy -- and Hunter Sallis (No. 19). They also recently reached out to Bryce McGowens (No. 32), who decommitted from Florida State earlier this week.