Controversy over Florida QB recruit Jaden Rashada’s $13 million NIL deal

Controversy is swirling over a $13 million NIL deal that was offered to — and later apparently reneged upon — a Florida quarterback recruit.

G. Allan Taylor, who covers the Gators for The Athletic, published a wild story on Friday about how an NIL collective at Florida offered a contract to Jaden Rashada, a four-star recruit from California, worth an eye-popping $13 million.

On Nov. 10, Rashada signed that deal with the Gator Collective, an NIL booster group run by former Florida baseball player Eddie Rojas.

“I would venture to say the Gator Collective is paying more guaranteed money than any group in the country,” Rojas said in April. “When I write a contract, I want to make sure that we actually have the money in our account.”

A Florida booster group offered four-star QB recruit Jaden Rashada $13 million to enroll at the school and then reneged, The Athletic reports.
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The Athletic reports that the deal “presumes” support from Florida booster Hugh Hathcock, who himself donated nearly $13 million to the program last year.

On Dec. 7, Rojas sent a letter seeking to terminate the NIL deal. It is unclear what changed, and the Florida administration was learning about the specifics on the fly as the schools and their coaches and athletic staff are not supposed to be directly involved with the transactions.

Nonetheless, Florida announced Rashada as part of its recruiting class on Dec. 21.

Jaden Rashada (5) before the Under Armour Next All-America game on Jan. 3, 2023, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Jaden Rashada (5) before the Under Armour Next All-America game on Jan. 3, 2023, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
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“I just think there’s a high level of trust on both ends there,” Florida head coach Billy Napier said of Rashada at the time. “I’m really excited about what he’s going to bring to our team. … Can’t compliment Jaden enough relative to who he is as a person, as a leader, his character. Jaden is a guy who came here and fell in love with the University of Florida and really connected with a lot of people here. It was sincere.”

While Rashada was still indicating his intent to play at Florida as recently as last week, he has not yet enrolled, and the deadline for early spring enrollment is Friday, Jan. 13.

Rashada’s father, Harlen, who played defensive back at Arizona State, denied earlier this week that his son had filed for a release from Florida. Harlen told 247Sports that they were “working through some things right now with Florida and hoping that they get resolved soon.”

The Athletic reports that there is the potential for litigation, and that Rashada has been offered a lesser deal, still worth north of seven figures, to enroll at Florida, provided he agree not to seek to enforce the previous contract.

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