Gophers men's basketball recruit Jonathan Nwankwo has been released from his national letter of intent because of external academic circumstances, a source familiar with the situation told the Star Tribune on Monday.

The 6-10 Gophers' 2015 commit -- whose NCAA clearinghouse and admissions processes are still ongoing -- will be free to sign with any other school and begin his eligibility this fall. 

Nwankwo attended Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton, Fla.

Coach Richard Pitino's 2015 class was capped at seven recruits after Jordan Murphy committed on Friday, but Nwankwo's departure leaves another scholarship open for this fall should Minnesota choose to use it. The spring signing period ends on Wednesday.

Nwankwo was expected to be a raw big man with high potential, and perhaps most importantly -- critical depth for a center spot that lost two seniors (Mo Walker and Elliott Eliason) from  last year's squad.