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It's over: Florida releases Jaden Rashada; 5-star quarterback free to sign anywhere

Jaden Rashada pledged to Florida after flipping from Miami but now the quarterback prospect is a free agent once again
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Florida has released five-star quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada from his National Letter of Intent, according to multiple reports.

Rashada is now officially free to re-open his recruitment process and sign at another school and be eligible to play as a true freshman in the 2023 season.

The decision was just the latest turn in what has been a dramatic recruiting process for the California native.

Rashada initially committed to Miami in June over finalists Florida and LSU, among others, but flipped to the Gators in November.

He then signed his NLI in November during the early signing period, but the mood between the player and school soured soon after.

NIL deal to blame?

In recent days, reports emerged that the relationship between Rashada and Florida broke down over an NIL deal with the school's collective.

On3 reported that Rashada requested a release from his letter of intent with the school, but the player's father refuted those rumors at the time by saying that his son's commitment to Florida was still formally in place.

But additional reporting then alleged that Rashada believed his NIL deal was not going to be honored, an agreement that some insiders estimated to be worth as much as $13 million in value.

Insiders believe that Rashada didn't ask for his release sooner because of his positive relationship with Gators football coach Billy Napier, but that the NIL situation had pushed the player to re-consider his pledge to Florida.

What it means for Florida

Now that Rashada likely won't be suiting up for the Gators to start the 2023 season, that should pave the way for Graham Mertz to all but formally succeed Anthony Richardson as the team's starting quarterback.

Mertz transferred to Florida from Wisconsin this offseason with an expected two years of eligibility remaining.

The former Badgers quarterback has 5,405 career passing yards to go with 38 touchdowns and 26 interceptions during his Big Ten days.

Jack Miller, a former four-star prospect and Ohio State transfer, is also on the depth chart. He made his first collegiate start for UF in the Las Vegas Bowl, in which the Gators offense failed to produce a touchdown drive.

Max Brown, a three-star recruit, is an additional piece for Florida at the position but he did not appear in any game action as a true freshman this past season.

What's next for Jaden Rashada

Rashada, a consensus five-star talent in the 2023 football recruiting class, was ranked as the No. 6 quarterback and the No. 29 overall player in the nation, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.

So he shouldn't have too much trouble finding a school that's interested in signing him.

LSU, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss were original finalists for the quarterback, and reports have already hinted that Rashada will visit with Colorado.

"[Rashada] owns a frame and build that can add ample weight and strength," 247Sports recruiting analyst Chris Singletary said of the player.

"Stands tall in the pocket with the mobility to avoid the rush and buy time to make plays under pressure. Poised and does a nice job making plays off platform," he noted.

Singletary added that Rashada "gets the ball out quickly, generating power from his lower body to have the ball snap out of his hand."


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