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Elite QB Recruit Jaden Rashada Opens up on Oregon, Miami, Ole Miss and More

California native wows in Texas 7-on-7 event as programs coast to coast court a commitment

DALLAS -- It was hard to miss Jaden Rashada at the Battle 7v7 tournament in Texas over the weekend.

Even on a hot couple of days in a tournament with more than 55 teams in the 18U division and games going on simultaneously throughout a complex -- his frame, the arm or the oohs and ahhs the quarterback induced pulled more viewers in. 

30 college programs had already seen enough of the Pittsburg (Calif.) High School star to come through with a scholarship offer and it didn't take long to see why there has been quick buy-in around the 6'4" passer over the last year or so. 

"It's fun getting out here playing with different people from different parts of the country," Rashada said after his first game with the Miami Immortals squad. 

The impression was first tangible via his new teammates, particularly wide receivers and tight ends, visually excited after his first few tosses in warm ups. Then on the first snap of the tournament, he connected with speedy Miami wide receiver commitment Robby Washington on a go route in stride for a score. He would throw for three more on his next six throws during the team's semifinal run.

"I've really just been grinding, I've been out here getting better," Rashada said. "I've progressed so much over these past three, four months... I've been happy with my progression."

Even considering dropping baseball as a secondary sport, the big rising senior recruit seems 100% focused on football in present and future. While his right arm drew new attention in Texas, college programs have been clamoring to get him on campus for some time. BYU and Washington have had him on campus early this year and many other trips are coming into focus.

Rashada is working on narrowing his list of contenders, but isn't ready to go public with the programs. However, he admits some are pursuing him more frequently than others, something that matters at this stage of the process.

"I'm taking my time with it," he said. "I'm just seeing where I'm a priority to, where the best situation for me and my family is for me to try to change people lives...to win a natty, to win a Heisman." 

Oregon and new coach Dan Lanning will get the next planned trip over several days. 

"Oregon, I'm pretty close with their coaching staff," Rashada said. "From the OC (Kenny Dillingham) to the running backs coach (Carlos Locklyn), even defensive staff. I'll be up there again for the spring game weekend, April 22 through the 24th." 

The previous Duck staff offered Rashada in September and that offer has carried over for Mario Cristobal's staff at Miami.

"Man I love Miami, I'm gonna get up there sometime this spring," he said. "To me, Miami is pretty close to Cali if you're talking scenery, places you can live. I really do like Miami and how much they're pushing me. They're interested in me and that staff was on me at Oregon. 

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"Coach (Josh) Gattis has been on me like nobody else, as well as coach (Mario) Cristobal and coach (Frank) Ponce. They've just been showing me crazy love lately." 

As far as California quarterbacks are concerned, few in the game are as familiar and/or successful in courting and developing the group as Lane Kiffin. Ole Miss is another major player in the race, it appears, especially considering a third recruiting trip to Oxford is in the works.

"Coach Kiffin, coach (Charlie) Weis, coach JDB (John David Baker) have all been good to me," Rashada said. "I'll get back up there sometime this spring. I'm pretty cool with their staff and I've visited there twice so I already know what's down there. I'll probably go down there and see what changes coach Weis has made. 

"And obviously coach Kiffin is an offensive mastermind. Who wouldn't want to play for him?"

Jaden Rashada

Jaden Rashada 

Rashada said there are a handful of programs beginning to separate from the others as far as attention goes, including several in SEC country. 

"Arkansas has been on me pretty tough, Cal has been on me pretty tough and LSU has been on me tough," he said. "Those are the group of schools reaching out to me lately. 

"Me and (LSU quarterback) coach (Joe) Sloan have a pretty good relationship, but we're still building. They have a pretty heavy quarterback room, so that shows a lot of QBs want to play for them." 

As a junior in 2021, there was a breakout for the Pittsburg standout, who missed time earlier in his prep career as California condensed the 2020 season because of the global pandemic. Last fall he threw for more than 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns versus five interceptions.

The raised stock and volume of programs courting Rashada consistently has reset a timeline for potentially ending the process with a verbal pledge.

"I can't rush a commitment," he said. "I'm thinking anywhere from tomorrow to signing day, I really don't know. I'd like to know where I'm going before the season starts, but if not I'll take it to signing day. 

"Where I'm comfortable, where I feel is home. Mainly where I can see myself living, because you only have football for a portion of the time. Can my family see themselves visiting?"

Few in the class have the options Rashada does, even in a strong quarterback class like the 2023 group is becoming in short order