The Florida Gators have released blue-chip quarterback prospect Jaden Rashada from his national letter of intent, officially closing a chapter of one of the wildest recruiting stories in state history.
Rashada signed with Florida last month after flipping from Miami in November, but his future in Gainesville became cloudy because of a dispute over a $13 million name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with the Gator Collective. The collective is a third-party NIL company that deals with Gator athletes but is not a part of the school or its athletic department.
The California native did not join the Gators’ other early enrollees last week, and the dispute became public. Rashada then asked to be released from his binding letter of intent and removed references to the Gators from his Instagram page.
Now that Florida has granted his release, Rashada can find a new destination. Arizona State (his father’s alma mater) and Washington are among the most likely options for a prospect ranked 59th nationally in the 247Sports composite.
His departure means that the Gators have lost five scholarship quarterbacks in the last 10 months. The others: 2021 starter Emory Jones (transferred to Arizona State), 2022 starter Anthony Richardson (declared early for NFL draft), Carlos Del-Rio Wilson (transferred to Syracuse) and Jalen Kitna (dismissed after arrest on child pornography complaints).
Rashada’s release does not, however, mean that the saga is completely over. Litigation remains a possibility. The NCAA could also investigate the case to see if any rules are broken, and Gator-related collectives are expected to undergo a major overhaul.
Florida is set to enter the spring with three scholarship quarterbacks: Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz, Las Vegas Bowl starter Jack Miller and three-star redshirt freshman Max Brown.
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