Florida fires vaunted QB recruit Jaden Rashada ‘after collective failed to honor NIL deal’
In a shift that could significantly impact the college football recruiting landscape, highly acclaimed high school quarterback Jaden Rashada was dropped from his National Letter by the Florida Gators over issues with a endorsement deal related to his original decision to attend the school dismissed of intent.
Rashada’s decision came after the Gator Collective — an independent fundraising group loosely affiliated with the university that pays student-athletes to use their name, image and likeness — was awarded a four-year deal worth more than $13 million does not comply, so a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as neither side publicly acknowledged the split.
The high-profile case will at least lead to change in Florida. It could also lead to a lawsuit and possibly an NCAA investigation.
In a shift that could significantly impact the college football recruiting landscape, highly acclaimed high school quarterback Jaden Rashada was dropped from his National Letter by the Florida Gators over issues with a endorsement deal related to his original decision to attend the school dismissed of intent
Rashada moved his verbal commitment from Miami to Florida on November 10. Rashada, his reps, and the Gator collective had presumably agreed on a lucrative NIL deal at the time of his flip.
One of Florida’s top boosters, millionaire businessman Hugh Hathcock tweeted, “Tomorrow is going to be a great day for Gator fans!!!” the night before Rashada’s announcement. The following day, less than five hours before Rashada publicly announced his flip, Hathcock tweeted, “All good!!! Just a little bit longer!!!’
The deal fell through less than a month later. The Athletic reported that Gator Collective CEO Eddie Rojas sent Rashada and his reps a letter of resignation on Dec. 7. It’s unclear why the deal fell through, but a source with knowledge of the negotiations told the AP that not all backers were aware that the signed deal had grown from about $5 million over four years to more than $13 million was.
Rashada was unable to sign with other signers days after playing in a Jan. 3 All-Star game in nearby Orlando. The 19-year-old eventually returned to the West Coast.
WHO IS RASHADA?
Rashada is a five-star QB prospect from Pittsburg, California who is ranked 29th overall by 247Sports in the 2023 recruit class. His father Harlen Rashada played on the defensive end in Arizona from 1992 to 1994.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Jaden Rashada threw for 5,275 yards for 59 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in Pittsburg last season.
His initial decision to come to Florida was seen as a boon to Billy Napier, the Gators first-year coach, and Rashada was set to compete with Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz for the starting Florida job, who has won five scholarships in the past 10 months. lost quarterbacks. Starter Anthony Richardson left early to enter the NFL draft, backup Jalen Kitna was fired after his child pornography arrest, and Emory Jones and Carlos Del Rio-Wilson made the switch last spring.
Florida also had their eye on Tulane’s Michael Pratt and Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman, but Pratt ended up back at Tulane and Hartman ended up at Notre Dame. The Gators also missed out on former LSU quarterback Walker Howard, who is moving to Mississippi despite a long relationship with Napier.
Rashada is free to register elsewhere without having to enter the transfer portal. He has already been linked to the state of Arizona and Washington.
It remains to be seen if Rashada will sue the Gator Collective, along with possibly the athletic department and the university, hoping to get at least part of the $13 million he was promised. He could potentially ask for more if he feels his reputation has been tarnished.
The Gators could still use some help at the all-important QB position with just three scholarship quarterbacks: Mertz, Miller and redshirt newcomer Max Brown. The Bigger Question: How will Rashada’s failed recruitment affect future prospects?
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL FALLOUT?
Florida already plans to encourage changes in its collectives, one possible possibility being a merger between the Gator Collective and the more exclusive Gator Guard. Changes in personnel within the collective are also to be expected.
The NCAA could also investigate. The sanctioning body has rules for NIL deals. Boosters and NIL Units are not permitted to participate in recruitment discussions or activities in relation to prospective Student-Athletes, and no promises can be made between family members and Boosters or NIL Units that would result from the prospective Student-Athlete’s enrollment at dependent on an institution.
According to Florida-based attorney Darren Heitner, who works with the Gator Collective, collectives have circumvented these rules with zip code clauses. The clauses use contract language to specify that student-athletes must reside in a particular jurisdiction for agreements to be payable.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/college-football/article-11660155/Florida-releases-highly-touted-QB-recruit-Jaden-Rashada-collective-failed-honor-NIL-deal.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Florida fires vaunted QB recruit Jaden Rashada ‘after collective failed to honor NIL deal’