Five-star QB Jaden Rashada asks for release from Florida; 247 Sports reports Cal in the mix
An interesting late cycle development for the Bears.
The intrigue of major college football recruiting comes to Cal, at a particular position of need.
Five-star quarterback Jaden Rashada, the big Bay Area recruit of the 2023 cycle, has been dancing around the major college football powers. There have been rumors of huge NIL deals with the two schools he committed to in this cycle. First came the Miami Hurricanes in the summer, then a subsequent flip to the Florida Gators in the fall.
But it seems the NIL promises for Florida came short of Rashada’s expectations, and he is asking for a release from the Gators. The initial number came out to an improbable $13 million, and those in charge of the collective could now be targeted for legal action.
That circus could definitely have long-term ramifications on the NIL era in college football. Collectives are unlikely to make such large promises upfront and produce a bit more due diligence.
But now onto the Cal perspective. Do the Bears have a shot at Rashada?
Rashada of course hails from local Pittsburg, and was of course Cal was on him early. But then serious players started entering the fray, and the Bears were put on the backburner.
In this latest round though, 247Sports lists Cal as a player, along with Arizona State and Washington. More from Steve Wiltfong:
“Cal was like the second school to offer Jaden,” the elder Rashada told 247Sports in the summer. “Great relationship with Cal with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and assistant coach Burl Toler has been his guy. It’s home. It’s right in the backyard. I think they’re on the up if they can continue to recruit well and he can help them build a class. I think Cal more than anything is relationship-heavy and his heart is locally with Cal and the relationships with those guys.”
With most major programs landing their quarterback already through either the transfer portal or locking them up long ago on the trail, Rashada doesn’t necessarily have an easy path to starting this coming season.
Enter Cal, a team with one quarterback commit from Sam Jackson V (but no guarantee he’s ready to start) and its top two signal-callers in Jack Plummer and Kai Millner transferring elsewhere. There is an open quarterback battle that Rashada will have a great shot at winning.
The main drawback is NIL. Even if Cal was in a great place NIL-wise, it’s unlikely they could come close to paying out the original money totals that Rashada and his family were requesting. In this space, Arizona State and Washington could be more competitive.
Also, if Rashada breaks out, there are no guarantees he sticks around—he could very well look for the best NIL offer come 2024 if the situation at Cal doesn’t 180. It’s a lot to worry about.
Rashda is ranked by 247Sports Composite as the 59th best prospect, the seventh-best quarterback, and the sixth-best California prospect.