Elijah Rushing, one of the top prospects in the 2024 national recruiting class, made a splash move on Sunday afternoon by decommitting from Arizona.
Rushing committed to Arizona on July 6 but officially announced his decommitment from the program on Sunday through a post on social media. The talented EDGE rusher prospect originally committed to Arizona over Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA, and Notre Dame.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the coaches and staff at the University of Arizona for the opportunity to be a Wildcat,” Rushing posted in a message on X. “As a hometown kid, my desire was to rep my city while becoming the best version of myself. I have taken into consideration the recent progress and strides the program has made. Although it is evident that the program is on the rise, I have to consider my future goal. I have come to the conclusion that the program is not the right fit for me to take the next step with regards to my development. I am, therefore, decommitting from the program.”
While not the original selection, Tennessee made strides during Rushing’s initial recruitment and even landed the final official visit on June 23 prior to his first commitment in early July.
Fortunately for Tennessee, though, Rushing’s own family has linked Tennessee to the recruitment, showing that Josh Heupel and Rodney Garner’s Volunteers are still in the hunt.
Rushing’s father, George, spoke to 247 Sports’ Blair Angulo about the decommitment and offered some insight into what the family is thinking now that the recruitment has opened back up.
“We will be taking these next two weeks to breathe a bit and reassess everything,” George Rushing told Blair Angulo via 247 Sports. “We are open to every option. Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Arizona State, Tennessee and Auburn — those are all schools that we’ve been in contact throughout and they’ve been pushing hard. They haven’t stopped recruiting.”
More from RTI: Where Tennessee Ranks In The Polls After Open Date
George Rushing also confirmed during the interview that if they had an “ideal time” to announce his next decision, it would likely be sometime after Elijah Rushing’s high school playing season, but that no visits or trips have been planned at this time. Oregon, though, looks to be the frontrunner out of the gates.
Elijah Rushing, from Tucson, Arizona, is ranked as a consensus Top 65 player in the class but with a fairly wide range. 247 Sports, for instance, has Rushing ranked as the No. 8 player in the class and the top EDGE rusher among his peers. On3 Sports, on the other hand, has Rushing as the No. 62 player in the class and the No. 5 EDGE in the country.
247 Composite rankings have Rushing listed as the No. 26 overall player, the No. 3 EDGE, and the No. 1 player from the state of Arizona.
Tennessee currently has 20 commitments in their 2024 class, led by five-star EDGE Jordan Ross from Birmingham, Alabama. The Vols’ 2024 class is ranked No. 9 in the nation according to 247 Sports at the time of this publication.
Stay tuned into Rocky Top Insider for more Tennessee football recruiting news.
Photoshoot part 2 pic.twitter.com/YPZxVGoljl
— Elijah Rushing (@elijah_rushing) June 25, 2023