With UW Among 5 Finalists, Jaden O'Neal Will Choose School on Monday

The Southern California 2026 quarterback recruit has drawn more than 30 offers.
SoCal quarterback Jayden O'Neal has his college choices narrowed to five, including the UW.
SoCal quarterback Jayden O'Neal has his college choices narrowed to five, including the UW. / Twitter

For 4-star quarterback Jaden O'Neal, out went Arizona State, Auburn, Colorado, Oregon and Penn State as he narrowed his college football choices to five.

By Monday afternoon, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior-to-be from Long Beach, California, will let everyone know which one among Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Washington will gain his services for 2026 and beyond.

O'Neal will reveal his decision on Monday at 2 p.m. PST, choosing a school after receiving more than 30 offers.

Emerging among the finalists for a young signal-caller wanted by everyone coast to coast is new territory for the Huskies, who should consider that a victory in itself.

Yet Jedd Fisch's UW coaching staff, with its NFL pitch -- come be a pro -- is gaining traction among quarterbacks with long-term goals.

This past season, O'Neal played as a sophomore for a 5-6 Newport Harbor High School team, the quaintly named Sailors, and completed 209 of 343 passes for 2,475 yards and 27 touchdowns. In March, he transferred to Narbonne High in Los Angeles proper, presumably for a step up in competition.

Clearly, he wants to move ahead on his future college plans, deciding things a year ahead of time, at the peak of the 2025 recruitment period.

Should he choose the UW, O'Neal would join a quarterback competition in two years that involves current 5-foot-11, 187-pound freshman Demond Williams Jr., committed recruits in 6-foot-1, 215-pound Dash Beierly from SoCal's Mater Dei High and 5-foot-10, 210-pound Kini McMillan from Mililani, Hawaii, plus current 6-foot-1, 203-pound sophomore Shea Kuykendall, a Northern Colorado transfer.

For the latest UW football and basketball news, go to si.com/college/washington

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Dan Raley


Dan Raley has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, as well as for MSN.com and Boeing, the latter as a global aerospace writer. His sportswriting career spans four decades and he's covered University of Washington football and basketball during much of that time. In a working capacity, he's been to the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the MLB playoffs, the Masters, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and countless Final Fours and bowl games.