Jayden Rashada requests National Letter of Intent from Florida (Updated)
Update at 5:43 p.m.: According to a message to Swamp247’s Blake Alderman from Jayden Rashada’s father, Harlen Rashada, “Jaden has not filed a release request from Florida,” On3’s Pete Nakos refutes the original report. The original story is embedded below:
Florida quarterback Jaden Rashad has yet to arrive in Florida, despite both sides — Rashada and the Gators football program — expressing their desire for the touted quarterback from Pittsburgh, Calif., to enroll immediately following his participation in the Under Armor All-American Game.
According to a report from Pete Nakos of On3.com, Rashada’s career with the Gators could be over before it officially begins, as the signal caller has requested a release from the letter of intent he signed with Florida.
Rashada reportedly called Florida athletics director Scott Stricklin before requesting a release from the letter of intent he signed, according to Nakos, and the next step will be whether the NCAA grants Rashada’s wish.
As Swamp247 reported Tuesday, Rashada has yet to commit to Gainesville, making him the only early enrollee not to arrive in Gainesville in time for Florida’s spring semester.
Although Rashada is listed in Florida’s student directory, that doesn’t mean he’s enrolled at the university, but rather was accepted based on his high school academics.
One source familiar with the development initially told Swamp247 that Rashada is expected to enroll and arrive on campus “this week,” while others were unable to clarify the situation. Later on Tuesday, sources told Swamp247 that there was increased optimism on the part of Florida about Rashada’s enrollment, although Nakos’ report contradicted that view.
Rashada was originally expected to commit and transfer to campus after appearing in the Under Armor All-American Game in Orlando on Jan. 3, according to the head coach Billy Napier.
“He’s coming to play in the All-Star Game here in the state soon, and he’s coming right away,” Napier said on Dec. 21. “So I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Rashada, ranked No. 29 in the class of 2023 by 247Sports’ independent rankings, has been one of the top-rated players in the country throughout the cycle, and his recruitment took several turns before signing with the Gators.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound signal-caller committed to Miami in June but ended up decommitting to Florida in a late-night announcement in November.
“I think we felt the connection was real and we felt there was something there,” Napier said of Florida’s continued pursuit of Rashada during his early signing day press conference. “We felt like we were really close. Obviously, a lot depends on those decisions, but certainly over time we’ve been consistent, and I think things that — there’s been common ground, and I think the connection has been real. Just think that there is a high level of trust on both sides. I’m very excited about what he will bring to our team.”
Rashada reportedly has 35 scholarship offers from programs across the country and is listed as a first-round prospect by 247Sports.
“He is a drug addict. He loves the game.” Napier said of Rashada. He is all at work. I think he has a good solid frame that we can build on. I was just very impressed with his approach.”
If Rashada does commit to the university, he will join the former Wisconsin signal-caller Graham Mertzsophomore Jack Miller and redshirt freshman Max Brown to give the team four quarterbacks on scholarships, provided he enrolls.
Mertz had a 19-13 record as a starter for the Badgers and finished the 2022 season with 2,136 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions, tying his highest individual passer rating as a starter.
Mertz, who has two years of eligibility remaining, was sacked 23 times in 2022 despite leading a forward who handled the ball nearly 58 percent of the time.
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