Florida football: What we know about Jaden Rashada

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida Gators offensive coordinator Rob Sale hugs Florida Gators recruit Jaden Rashada after the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, November 12, 2022. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

Here's the latest on the status of Florida prized freshman quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada:

He missed Friday's deadline to enroll for the spring semester

Rashada missed the Friday drop-ad deadline to enroll for the spring semester, according to multiple reports. That means he wouldn't be able to participate in spring football, unless he receives an exception if he chooses to enroll at Florida in the coming weeks. Rashada could also wait it out and enroll in the summer, but that would put him behind in his development and competition with Florida's other three scholarship quarterbacks — Graham Mertz, Jack Miller and Max Brown.

At the recent Under Armour All-American game, Rashada mentioned the importance of not just playing in the spring but having access to Florida's strength and conditioning coaches. At 6-foot-4 and 175 pounds, Rashada set a goal of gaining by 25 pounds by June.

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The hangup was a botched NIL deal

The hangup in Rashada's decision to enroll this week was due to a botched NIL deal when he committed to play at Florida last November. Rashada had initially committed to Miami in June 2022 before flipping to Florida. The deal, according to multiple reports, involved both the Gator Collective and Gator Guard.

Rashada was the last of Florida's commitments to sign his Letter of Intent with the Gators during December's early signing period.

When asked about the impact of NIL during the December signing day press conference, Florida coach Billy Napier said:  "There's no question it's been one of the challenges of the year, if that makes sense, because it's new. I think that — and you're creating your system ...

"But definitely a dynamic, I think every college football coach will tell you, just adds a variable to the game. But it's another part of your product. Certainly, I think we've done a great job. Can't complement our administration, our alumni. We've put a lot of smart people in a room and come up with a great plan there. So, I'm excited about that part."

He has yet to be released from his National Letter of Intent

Florida hasn't released Rashada from his Letter of Intent yet, but that could come if both sides don't come to an agreement. Florida has a history of letting athletes out of their NLI's, usually following coaching changes. When Florida coach Billy Donovan left to pursue the NBA as head coach in 2015, forward Noah Dickerson was released and enrolled at Washington.

If Rashada is let go, it would be a blow to Florida's recruiting class that finished singing day ranked 12th in the nation and fifth in the SEC per Rashada was the highest-ranked player in the class, a four/five-star recruit ranked 56th nationally and seventh among quarterbacks per 247Sports composite.

"The ball really jumps out of his hand," Napier said. "He's a junkie. He loves the game. He's all about the work. I think he's got a good sturdy frame that we can add weight to. Just been very impressed with his approach."