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Sting Factor: Larry Turner-Gooden backs off pledge to ASU

Larry Turner-Gooden
Larry Turner-Gooden (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.

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THE STORYLINE  

Arizona State was putting together such an impressive recruiting class filled with outstanding defensive backs.

But after decommitments from Miami (Fla.) Central teammates Jaylin Marshall and Alfonzo Allen prior to September, the latest one was arguably the toughest, since four-star Larry Turner-Gooden had so many connections to the program.

The four-star safety who now plays at Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany used to play for current ASU assistant coach Chris Claiborne at Calabasas, Calif. Turner-Gooden is on the Ground Zero 7on7 team, which is run by Armond Hawkins, whose son, Chris Hawkins, is also an assistant for the Sun Devils.

But there is an NCAA investigation clouding over the ASU program right now involving Hawkins and fellow assistants Prentice Gill and Adam Breneman and the Sun Devils' recruiting practices.

It’s no coincidence that investigation has significantly stalled the Sun Devils’ recruiting efforts. They’re currently last in the Pac-12 rankings with only four total commitments.

Turner-Gooden is just the latest to back off his pledge. He happens to be one of the most talented as well.

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LOCAL REACTION  

Due to the NCAA investigation into ASU’s recruiting activities, Turner-Gooden is not just the latest four-star prospect to decommit from the Sun Devils but was also the highest-ranked prospect in their list of commits. But as much as his decision is not a surprise, it still does impact the team not only from the general perception level when it comes to the 2022 recruiting class but also concerning the personnel for the future.

Arizona State following this year is going to lose proven seniors at safety in Evan Fields and DeAndre Pierce. It wouldn't be hyperbolic to state that with the current talent on the team, there is a chance for a pretty steep drop-off at this position. LTG and another former four-star safety commit, Jaylin Marshall, were poised to make an early impact in Tempe next year and shore up that position. Now it's back to the drawing board for ASU. - Hod Rabino, DevilsDigest.com

Sting Factor: 9

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NATIONAL REACTION  

Following his visit to Penn State for the Whiteout victory over Auburn a few weeks ago, Turner-Gooden backed off his Arizona State pledge, but this is something that could have happened at any time over the last few weeks, especially with the NCAA investigation looming over the program right now.

Turner-Gooden is definitely a big loss for the Sun Devils, but what’s even more worrisome is if these coaches are not exonerated or this probe lasts much longer before there is finality. It could be decent news or it could be bad news. But any kind of news means Arizona State can move on, understand the penalties and then work through them. Uncertainty is what really is hampering this recruiting class, and the sooner this gets worked out the better.

Turner-Gooden is hearing from Penn State, Texas, Colorado, LSU and USC. He would have been a very nice piece to ASU’s recruiting class, but that looks unlikely now. That hurts. But getting through this investigation and moving forward is even more important. - Adam Gorney, Rivals National Recruiting Director

Sting Factor: 7