Florida-bound QB Jaden Rashada asks for scholarship release amid NIL dispute: Sources

Four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada, who signed with Florida on Dec. 21 but did not report to campus last week amid a name, image and likeness dispute, asked for a scholarship release, sources close to the program confirmed to The Athletic. 247Sports was the first to report the filing. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Sources said the recruit’s family has been at odds with the football program ever since the Gator Collective terminated an NIL contract valued at more than $13 million.
  • Rashada is the No. 56 prospect in the 2023 recruiting class and the No. 7 quarterback, per the 247Sports Composite. The graduate of Pittsburg (Calif.) High was among the highest-ranked quarterbacks the Gators have landed in the past decade.
  • He committed to Miami in June amid speculation of a $9 million NIL deal, then flipped to Florida on Nov. 10.
  • While Rashada participated in the Under-Armor All-American event last week in Orlando, his father Harlen told The Athletic the family was headed straight to Gainesville for spring enrollment.

What happened?

Sources close to the program told The Athletic that a $13 million NIL deal, struck between the Gator Collective and Rashada before he flipped to Florida in November, began falling apart last month. Rashada ultimately signed anyway and publicly sounded enthusiastic about moving in on campus and learning the offense. Last week’s enrollment delay surrounded contention over the value of a renegotiated NIL deal.

What does this mean for Florida’s quarterback situation?

The Gators recently landed Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz and have fourth-year sophomore Jack Miller returning. They also have Max Brown, a 2022 signee who redshirted this past season. But Rashada was the high-profile, big-arm talent who was expected to acclimate this spring and push for early playing time.

A commitment from 2024 elite quarterback DJ Lagway helps ease the sting, though Rashada’s departure creates a public relations headache for the football program. It also shines a light on the perils athletic departments face with NIL deals forced to be negotiated by a third party.

β€œThe University of Florida football program is really one of victims in this case,” said a source familiar with the Gator Collective’s dealings.

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(Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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