Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Jaden Rashada’s lawsuit vs. Florida is latest crazy twist in Georgia QB’s complex history

Entering just his second collegiate season, Georgia quarterback Jaden Rashada’s career is already one of the most tumultuous and eventful in recent memory. He’s become the poster boy for name, image and likeness deals gone sour, a saga brought back to the forefront with Tuesday’s news that Rashada is suing Florida coach Billy Napier — among other figures associated with the Gators — for a failed NIL agreement that led to his dissolution with the university. 

The unprecedented move is the product of an era in which players can transfer multiple times and profit off their NIL with impunity. It’s also not the first time Rashada, a former top-50 prospect in the class of 2023, has dominated the news cycle. 

Before he even enrolled at Arizona State over a year ago, Rashada navigated a complex recruitment that saw him cycle through two different schools before signing his second letter of intent to join the Sun Devils. After just one year in Tempe, he was back on the market as a coveted transfer in 2024 before joining a national title contender in Georgia. 

There are plenty of significant moments in Rashada’s journey between those hallmarks. Here’s a timeline tracing his already-eventful career thus far, leading up to his lawsuit. 

A whirlwind recruitment 

June 2022: Rashada, one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2023, takes official visits to Texas A&M, LSU, Florida and Miami. The Hurricanes built some significant momentum during Rashada’s visit and parlayed that into a huge recruiting win on June 26, when Rashada commits to the Hurricanes

Nov. 10, 2022: Rashada flips his commitment from Miami to Florida. The Hurricanes were 4-5 through the first nine games of Mario Cristobal’s career, while the Gators — led by eventual first-round quarterback Anthony Richardson — had just won a key road game against Texas A&M. 

Dec. 21, 2022: Rashada puts pen to paper and inks with Florida during the early signing period. 

Jan. 10, 2022: Despite previous indications he would join the Gators for spring practice, reports emerge that Rashada has not enrolled at Florida. 

“Jaden hasn’t enrolled yet, he’s in the Bay Area,” Rashada’s father, Harlan, told 247Sports. “We’re having a conversation with Florida tomorrow (Thursday). “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.”

Jan. 17, 2022: Rashada requests a release from his national letter of intent. A botched NIL deal between Rashada and the now-defunct Gator Collective is the source of friction between the two sides. Three days later, Florida grants Rashada his release

Feb. 1, 2023: Rashada commits to and signs with Arizona State, his father’s alma mater, after visiting both the Sun Devils and TCU. It’s seen as a huge win for new coach Kenny Dillingham just a few months into his tenure. 

Jumpstarting his career 

Aug. 22, 2023: Rashada fends veteran transfer additions Drew Pyne and Jacob Conover, as well as fifth-year senior Trenton Bourguet, to win Arizona State’s starting quarterback job right out of the gate. 

Aug. 31, 2023: Rashada makes his debut against Southern Utah and, despite a narrow 24-21 win, impresses with 236 yards and two touchdowns through the air. 

Sept. 2023: Rashada is injured after Arizona State’s Sept. 9 loss to Oklahoma State and does not appear again until the season finale against in-state rival Arizona. In the wake of Rashada’s injury, ASU features a revolving door at quarterback with Pyne, Conover and Bourguet all seeing the field. 

A bump in the road 

Dec. 2023: Arizona State receives a commitment from Michigan State transfer quarterback Sam Leavitt and Bourguet — who started a majority of games in Rashada’s absence — announces his return for a sixth year with the Sun Devils. This creates a logjam at quarterback where Rashada would have to fight for the job once more. 

“My exit interview with Jaden, I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to take a transfer quarterback to compete. We need competition in that room. We need more depth in that room,'” Dillingham said in December. “And he was like, ‘I’m not scared of competition.'”

Jan. 2024: An NCAA investigation into Florida’s recruitment of Rashada, which was launched in June 2023, comes to light. It’s the latest move, following severe punishments levied against Florida State, as the NCAA tries to enforce its NIL rules. 

On the road again 

April 18, 2024: Rashada, who missed much of Arizona State’s spring practice window due to injury, enters the transfer portal. Georgia immediately emerges as the favorite to land his services. 

April 25, 2024: Rashada commits to Georgia, providing key depth to a quarterback room led by incumbent starter Carson Beck

May 21, 2024: With the blessing of Georgia coach Kirby Smart, Rashada files a lawsuit against Napier, a prominent Gators booster and a former football staffer over the failed name, image and likeness deal that would have paid him $13.5 million over four years.  

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