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Report: Butler requests release from Illinois

Apr. 8—CHAMPAIGN — Illinois will have another scholarship to work with this offseason, with 247Sports' Travis Branham reporting Class of 2024 guard Jase Butler has requested his release from his national letter of intent from the Illini and will reopen his recruitment.

Butler committed to Illinois on Oct. 4 — choosing the Illini over the likes of Stanford, San Francisco and UC Santa Barbara — and signed in November.

"I think they've always been real with me," Butler said in October about why he picked Illinois. "I built great relationships with the coaching staff. I feel like it will be the best for me to achieve my goals, academically and on the basketball court."

Butler earned a fourth star during his senior season at The Branson School (Calif.) from 247Sports and was also considered a four-star recruit by On3. ESPN and Rivals had the 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard ranked as a three-star prospect.

"We had been looking for a guard who is different from what we already have on the roster," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said after Butler signed. "Jase is a guy that (assistant coach) Chester Frazier did a great job of finding and recruiting. As soon as I went out and saw Jase, I fell in love with his game. He's a big, physical guard, 50 percent three-point shooter, an elite passer and very high IQ.

"You pair his decision making with his shooting ability and you've got a pretty lethal guard at either position. We like to play two or three guards who can all play in ball screens, and he's got that ability."

Butler's decommitment trims Illinois' 2024 recruiting class, which was ranked 20th nationally, to two in in-state recruits Morez Johnson Jr. and Jason Jakstys. The Illini coaching staff now has four open scholarships for the 2024-25 season, which will likely be utilized in the transfer portal.