Florida quarterback signee Jaden Rashada was expected to enroll early and join the Gators after the Under Armour Next All-America Game Jan. 3, Florida head coach Billy Napier said on early signing day.
Come the Jan. 13 drop/add deadline, however, the No. 56 overall player still wasn’t enrolled in classes at UF.
Rashada reportedly requested release from his National Letter of Intent from the Gators Friday, according to On3 reporter Pete Nakos. Harlen Rashada, Jaden’s father, said Rashada didn’t file a request for release from Florida, according to reporting from 247Sports reporter Brandon Huffman.
“We’re in constant talks with Florida in regards to his enrollment, but I’d like to think if he’s not enrolled by Friday there will be some challenges there to proceed as planned,” Harlen Rashada said in an interview with 247Sports. “We're working through some things right now with Florida and hoping that they get resolved soon.”
The decision to request a release came from missteps in Rashada’s NIL negotiations, which caused a breakdown in his trust in the university, according to Nakos.
The Pittsburg, California, native ranks as the seventh-best quarterback in the 2023 class and is the highest-ranked player in Florida’s 2023 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
He initially committed to the Miami Hurricanes June 26 but flipped to the Gators Nov. 11.
“I have watched this season and Coach Napier and his team are building something very special in The Swamp and I want to be a part of it,” Rashada said on Twitter when announcing his commitment to Florida.
A majority of Florida’s 2023 recruiting class enrolled in classes and moved down to Gainesville in the first week of the spring semester. 16 of the Gators’ 20 signees enrolled early, including top-100 recruits defensive lineman Kelby Collins and receiver Aidan Mizell.
Florida’s starting quarterback this past season, Anthony Richardson, declared for the 2023 NFL Draft in December, and backup quarterback Jalen Kitna was dismissed from the team following criminal charges. The Gators brought in junior Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz and preferred walk-on Parker Leise in addition to Rashada.
Redshirt freshman Jack Miller III started for Florida in the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon State. Freshman Max Brown redshirted this past season, and the Gators also have redshirt sophomore walk-on Kyle Engel.
Jackson Reyes is a third-year journalism major and one of the assistant sports editors for the Spring 2023 semester. In his free time, he enjoys collecting records, long walks on the beach and tweeting about Caleb Williams.