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Arizona State parts ways with two Wisconsin prospects

Arizona State has significantly increased its recruiting presence in the Midwest over the last few classes. The Sun Devils have 31 scholarship offers out to class of 2021 prospects in the region, and secured commitments from four of those prospects. On Tuesday, however, two of those prospects announced their de-committments from the program after their scholarship offers were rescinded.

Three-star tight end Garrett Gillette and three-star offensive lineman Marcus Mbow made their announcements within hours of each other Tuesday morning. Both said in their statements, posted on Twitter, that their scholarship offers had been pulled the day before.

“They’re only taking one tight end is what I was told,” Gillette clarified.

Arizona State’s other tight end commitment in this class is Kamron Beachem out of Oceanside, Calif.

MAKING THE CASE: Four-star Wisc. OL Billy Schrauth

Mbow, meanwhile, did not get an explanation about why his scholarship was pulled other than, “just didn’t have enough spots.”

These moves follow the de-commitment of Florida offensive lineman Charles Armstrong last week, who said he and the coaching staff had come to a mutual understanding that he would not be a part of the class.

Following his announcement, Mbow immediately started to see new interest come in, and several schools that had previously offered reconnected. He originally chose Arizona State back in July over schools like Iowa State and Nebraska.

“I have a few schools reaching out, like Purdue, WVU, Indiana, Syracuse,” Mbow confirmed Tuesday morning.

Gillette was one of Arizona State’s earliest commitments in this 2021 class, making his pledge back in May. He chose the Sun Devils over offers from Iowa State, Michigan State and UCF, and additionally had interest from programs like Iowa and Pittsburgh.

“I am still in contact with schools,” Gillette said Tuesday. “I don’t have anything set right now but for sure gonna start looking”

Arizona State still has commitments from Detroit-area offensive lineman Caleb Banks and St. Louis wide receiver Dominic Lovett. They also remain contenders in the recruitments of Kansas offensive lineman Harlan Obioha and Minneapolis defensive end Davon Townley.

The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors voted in August to give fall athletes an extra year of eligibility, but have yet to clarify if any subsequent changes will be made to overall scholarship totals to mitigate what will certainly be a numbers crunch.

The fallout from that decision, and uncertainty, may be an increasing occurrence of schools pulling scholarships from committed prospects. That would be a cruel blow to a 2021 recruiting class that has already faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including the elimination of official visits and a nearly yearlong dead period.