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Arizona football recruiting: 4-star defensive end Josh Allen decommits from Wildcats

It begins.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats took another huge loss this weekend, this time by the way of 4-star defensive end, Josh Allen, who has decommitted from The University of Arizona.

This isn't so much of a shock, considering the list of schools that were starting to come into his recruitment, and the recent display, or lack there of, on defense for Arizona. He has schools like Alabama, Texas, and USC coming at him hard, which are all superior to Arizona. A few months ago, he reaffirmed his commitment to Arizona, but still wanted to take some visits just to see what other schools had to offer, ensuring he made the right decision.

Josh Allen was Arizona's second highest-ranked recruit in this class, and now leaves the Wildcats with 17 commits for 2016. The class fluctuates in the rankings from about 25-32, currently sitting at No. 30. After the decommitment from Allen comes through, I'd expect Arizona to drop to about No. 40.

Now, Arizona has four commits on the defensive line

Name Rating Size
Jake Burton 3-star DE 6-6 250lbs
Jabari Watson 3-star DT 6-2 260lbs
Justin Holt 3-star DT 6-2 295lbs
Markell Utsey 3-star DT 6-4 290lbs

Arizona just lost their most-prized recruit of the class, and realistically, I would say Arizona lands about three or four more recruits. But the decommitment could have opened the door for about two more guys, potentially, on the defensive line.

Collin Riccitelli, the 5-star kicker, might just get an offer from Arizona, and he seems very interested in the program. Meanwhile, 4-star running back Melquise Stovall could be in play, but his list of schools is far greater than Arizona, much like Allen.

There's still a shot for 3-star OG Matthew Gutwald, but his recruitment has Stanford and Notre Dame in the mix, and he says early playing time and education are heavy factors. Early playing time at Arizona for sure, but there's no competing with those schools on the education front.

There are two guys from Arizona Western on the defensive line, Travonte Valentine and Trey Lealaimatafao, both 3-star beasts checking in at 6-3 325 and 6-0 300lbs, respectively. Both could give Arizona an extra look, and would be immediate impact players on this defense. With the decommitment from Allen, I would think Arizona lands at least one.

AJ Hotckins is someone no one seems to be talking about, and I get a good feeling that the 3-star JUCO linebacker could have a pretty strong interest in Arizona, making his way to Tucson in 2016.

Then there are a few corners -- Elijah Battle, Lorenzo Burns and Terrell Burgess -- who could make their way to the Old Pueblo as well. As of now, I would say Arizona lands Battle, and has a pretty strong shot at Burgess, with Utah possibly the leader in that race.

This decommitment is a major blow for the program after an embarrassing loss, adding to the rough season. Josh Allen was a guy who would have come in immediately to take over for Reggie Gilbert, but now it will be up to the development of some of the other defensive linemen through the past few years, and even the incoming freshmen to help bolster the line.

I can't imagine any other recruits decommiting at this point, but the way the season is going certainly turns off quite a few recruits, especially on the defensive side of the ball. But recruiting will start picking up soon as we get to the end of the season and closer to signing day.