Apogee Stadium

North Texas has the second-ranked recruiting class in Conference USA with a week remaining before national signing day.

Stephenville quarterback Kade Renfo announced Wednesday morning that he has backed out of his commitment to North Texas.

Renfro was among the highest rated players in UNT’s 2020 recruiting class and arguably the most important player the Mean Green had committed. UNT will lose record-setting quarterback Mason Fine to graduation after its season finale on Saturday against UAB.

Renfo was expected to compete for the starting job as a freshman. He announced his decision on his Twitter account.

“At this time, I’ve decided to reopen my recruiting and de-commit from the University North Texas,” Renfo wrote. “I’m thankful to have developed the relationships throughout the process. I’m looking forward to what the future holds and will be releasing my senior highlights in the coming days.”

Renfro did not respond to a message seeking comment on Wednesday morning.

Renfo committed to UNT in June over offers from eight schools, including Central Florida, Texas State, Tulsa and Western Kentucky, one of UNT’s rivals in Conference USA. Renfro said at the time that he seriously considered UCF before committing to UNT.

Renfo cited his relationship with UNT offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder and how he would fit in UNT’s offense under coach Seth Littrell for his decision to commit to the Mean Green.

“The offense is a good fit for me,” Renfro told the Denton Record-Chronicle at the time. “Littrell’s offense is a dream for a quarterback. You couldn’t ask for a better situation. You can help shape what happens on the field in his system.”

Renfro is part of a long line of standout quarterbacks to play for Stephenville over the years. Several people close to Renfro advised him to not commit to UNT last summer.

“People told me to wait and weigh my options,” Renfro said. “I just felt like North Texas is the right place for me. A lot of the other quarterbacks who came through Stephenville wanted me to wait. I made my decision and haven’t looked back.”

Renfro changed his mind just days after he was offered by Florida State and visited UCF, which has also offered him a scholarship. He will visit Florida State early next month.

Renfro’s departure left UNT in a tough spot as it heads into the 2020 season.

The Mean Green must find a way to replace Fine, the nation’s active leader in passing yards with 12,237 heading into next season.

UNT has several options, including former minor league baseball player Austin Aune and Jason Bean as well as Will Kuehne. Aune and Bean have served as Fine’s backups this season, while Kuehne has spent the season as a redshirt.

Renfro would have provided another intriguing option. He is rated No. 27 among pro-style quarterbacks in the class of 2020 by 247sports.

Losing Renfo is also a key blow to UNT’s 2020 recruiting class. The Mean Green still have the second-ranked class among C-USA schools in 247Sports’ rankings but will have to scramble late if they are to add a quarterback to their class.

UNT entered the season with high expectations after back-to-back nine-win seasons that helped the program quickly add a series of highly regarded high school recruits to its class.

The Mean Green have struggled to live up to those expectations and were eliminated from bowl contention last week in a surprising loss to Rice that dropped UNT to 4-7 on the season.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.