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3-star Tucson defensive lineman Keona Wilhite, teammate of 5-star commit Elijah Rushing, backs off pledge to Arizona

arizona-wildcats-football-recruiting-keona-wilhite-decommitment-salpointe-elijah-rushing-2024 Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona’s in-state (and backyard) recruiting took a hit Monday night with 3-star defensive lineman Keona Wilhite announced he was back on the market.

he 6-foot-5, 236-pound Wilhite, who plays for nearby Salpointe Catholic High School, is the teammate of 5-star UA commit Elijah Rushing. He committed to the Wildcats on June 19, picking Arizona right after taking an official visit, but a week later took an official to Washington and the Huskies may be the frontrunner according to’s Matt Moreno.

Wilhite is ranked as the No. 807 player in the 2024 recruiting class, per 247Sports, as well as the 14th-best player from Arizona. The UA still has two of the top four in-state prospects committed in Rushing, the No. 26 overall player in the 2024 class who picked Arizona on July 6; and Chandler quarterback Demond Williams, who is flipped from Ole Miss to the Wildcats on July 31 and who is ranked 295th nationally.

Arizona has now had four previously committed players back off in the 2024 cycle, with 4-star linebacker Kington Lopa since pledging to Oregon and 3-star linebackers Nazaiah Carvallo and Luke Ferrelli committing to Hawaii and Stanford, respectively.

The Wildcats’ 2024 class still has 20 commits, with Rushing, Williams and 4-star California running back Jordan Washington the top-rated members. Overall, 247Sports ranks the class 37th in the country and third among teams that will be in the Big 12 next season.