June 13, 2024

Florida Football: Gators Deal with QB Drama Despite Likely Transfer

Despite the turmoil surrounding Jaden Rashada’s transfer saga, his chances of significant playing time in Gainesville were slim. Rashada, once a Gator commit, is now suing Billy Napier and others over a failed NIL deal that led to his move to Arizona State.

This debacle is ironic because Rashada, amidst all the chaos, probably wouldn’t have seen much action at Florida anyway.

Was It Worth It?

Rashada switched his commitment to Florida on November 10, 2022, allegedly enticed by a $13 million NIL deal. However, if we set aside the money and assume Rashada joined the team, several developments would have complicated his path to the starting role.

DJ Lagway committed to Florida on December 7, 2022, and Graham Mertz announced his transfer to Florida on December 21, 2022, the same day Rashada signed his letter of intent.

Had Rashada arrived at Florida, his chances of outperforming Mertz for the starting QB position in 2023 were minimal. Napier likely planned to have a transfer quarterback for 2023 and an open competition for 2024.

However, college football is unpredictable, and plans change. If Mertz played well and returned for 2024, Napier would probably not have sidelined him in favor of Rashada, leaving the starting position undecided for 2025.

ASU Football: Report Card for Jaden Rashada - House of Sparky

At that point, a QB competition between Lagway and Rashada would ensue, with the loser likely transferring.

Currently, Rashada is in Athens after losing the starting job to Sam Leavitt at Arizona State, partly due to a thumb injury during spring practice. Even without the injury, Leavitt was expected to secure the starting role by summer.

If Rashada couldn’t compete with Leavitt, it’s doubtful he would have outperformed Lagway at Florida.

In essence, all the drama, lawsuits, and headaches for Florida revolve around a player who might have played against FSU in 2023, competed to be the backup in 2024, and likely transferred if he didn’t secure the starting job by 2025.

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