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Jaden Rashada Commits to Miami, What’s Next for the Florida Gators?

Jaden Rashada announced his commitment to the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday, but what happens next within the Florida Gators quarterback room?

Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Alex Shepherd 

The Florida Gators swung for the fences but couldn't connect on landing Pittsburg (Ca.) quarterback Jaden Rashada, who is ranked as the No. 7 QB in the nation for the 2023 recruiting class, according to On3 consensus.

Florida's efforts were clear, bringing Rashada in for an official visit just before what was expected to be his commitment date on July 18th. That date, however, was pushed back as the young QB opted to take one final official visit, heading down south to Miami.

The momentum spun in Miami's favor immediately following his trip to Coral Gables, as Rashada ultimately chose the Hurricanes for when it comes time to sign on the dotted line on Early or National Signing Day.

For Florida, it has been viewed as a miss on a target that the staff viewed highly. Still, the team will now have to press on with what they have and make some decisions that will impact the program for years to come in the coming months and into next year.

So, what exactly is next for Florida?

Under head coach Billy Napier, the Gators have already begun to rebuild its roster, the program recently released a few players, along with bringing in a few key transfers into the program to establish some depth.

Particularly with its QB position, Florida brought in two players this year - Ohio State transfer Jack Miller and three-star QB Max Brown (2022 recruiting class) to provide depth alongside redshirt freshman Jalen Kitna and starting QB Anthony Richardson.

Florida, meanwhile, lost underclass QB Carlos Del Rio-Wilson to the transfer portal, with the redshirt freshman opting to join Syracuse in May. And 2021 starter Emory Jones left the program for Arizona State this summer, as well.

Rashada, who many viewed as the next-best QB to decide on his future after Arch Manning pledged to Texas earlier last week, was expected to become the centerpiece for the Napier era if he ended up at UF, with the tools and talent to potentially succeed Richardson following this season, if he were to enter the NFL Draft.

Now, the team will have to search elsewhere for that signal-caller. Although the team likes what it has in Miller, he has very little experience and looked a bit overwhelmed during the program's spring game in April. Kitna has never been expected to be the ultimate successor.

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One of Napier's first moves, when it came to recruiting the QB position at Florida, was flipping Brown from Central Michigan in January.   

Here is what Napier said about the former three-star recruit during National Signing Day:

I think Max, when you turn the tape on, you can immediately see the baseball background. The off-platform throws. Really a natural thrower. A guy that is projected to be kind of a middle round draft pick in baseball.

He was 6'1" and a half, 200 pounds on his visit. Dad played receiver in the National Football League. Really a good-looking athlete. We think he has upside. He just started playing quarterback two years ago. And a good runner. The guy can make some plays with his feet.

Though it appears that Florida views Brown highly, the program still is in need of finding more potential fits for the position. 

While they lost out on Rashada, as it stands today, they do have a couple of options at the position in the form of at least two future Elite 11 participants: Brock Glenn (Lausanne Collegiate School, Tenn.) and Marcus Stokes (Nease, Fla).

Both players are viewed as "risers" within the class and could come into play late for a program like Florida. Glenn has yet to receive significant interest from the Gators, but has become a hot name on the trail with offers from LSU, Ohio State, Auburn and Florida State recently.

Though Stokes is currently committed to Penn State, an offer from UF could entice the Florida native, who just camped with the Gators for a 7-on-7 tournament this past week.

The Gators could also always reach back out to King's (Mich.) Dante Moore, the No. 4 quarterback in the class who paid UF an unofficial visit earlier this spring. However, schools such as Oregon and Texas A&M have recently begun to trend for the Detroit prospect, meaning Florida would have a lot of catching up to do.

Continuing with the same thought process as it pertains to Stokes, flipping a QB is another possibility for Florida. While missing out on a priority target might sting, it is worth remembering that the 2023 recruiting cycle is far from over.

As the season continues, and if Florida - along with Richardson - displays thorough and consistent growth throughout the year, it could entice a signal-caller to flip before or on signing day. 

Don't get it twisted, though, there are no moral victories to pull from UF losing out on Rashada. It is a miss that Florida will have to work through. However, it isn't a miss that cannot be overcome, especially not with plenty of time to go between now and players signing on the bottom line.

Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.