Jaden Rashada Officially Asks For Release From Florida Scholarship, Ending College Football's First NIL Holdout

The saga revolving around 2023 Florida signee Jaden Rashada has taken another turn. According to sources, the four-star quarterback has officially filed for a release of his National Letter of Intent from Florida on Tuesday.

The ordeal involving the quarterback from California has now reached the point of him filing paperwork with the NCAA, asking for a release from his NLI, which he signed Dec. 21st.

The news of Rashada filing paperwork was first reported by Brandon Huffman.

The holdup over the last few weeks has centered around an NIL deal gone wrong, which involved the Gator Collective hoping to restructure his initial NIL deal. Rashada did not enroll at Florida, which was the plan after the Under Armor game in Orlando recently. The issue is now between the NCAA and Florida. The Gators would have a month to respond to the initial filing, but it might be in Florida's best interest to just release him.

The Saga Of Jaden Rashada's Recruitment, Along With NIL

Pete Nakos of On3 first reported the news of Rashada planning to file for his release on January 11th. During that time Rashada's father refuted the claims, saying that conversations were still to be had with Florida officials about the ongoing situation.

According to the NCAA, “An institution may release a signee from his or her NLI obligation by selecting the ‘complete release’ option on the NLI Release Request. It is the institution’s discretion to grant a release or not.”

So, the decision is up to Florida, or Rashada would have to appeal to the NCAA's NLI Committee, which would then make a ruling.

I spoke with John Ruiz, who runs LifeWallet in the Miami area and was involved in the initial NIL negotiations regarding Rashada after committing to the Hurricanes. I asked him about the ongoing problems with collectives, especially when problems like this arise.

"The main problem I see with some collectives is they have individuals running them with no true business experience. The NIL landscape is difficult as it requires experience in many areas. Negotiating contracts, NIL NCAA By-Laws, applicable state laws and true Return on Investment based on each player just to name a few.

"The bigger problem is the ones that get affected are the kids and their family when things go south," Ruiz said. "Dealing with honest people that don’t treat kids as pawns is at the core of a solid NIL platform. I hope to see that with time the rotten apples and phased out of the NIL space."

The recruitment of Rashada took many different turns over the last few months, especially when he de-committed from Miami on November 11th. This set in motion a series of events that would include the Hurricanes, NIL promises and Billy Napier delaying his signing day press conference an hour, as they waited for Rashada's paperwork.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, the events that transpired at Florida mainly centered around NIL, or the lack of. A disagreement between the Rashada family and the on-campus Florida NIL groups caused friction between the pair, straining the relationship to a point of seemingly no return.

Also, I was told that the Florida collective paid-off a certain amount of money to the Miami collective, for funds already given to Rashada under the previous contract. When asked about this situation, John Ruiz could not comment on the matter.

Simply put, the money fell through. It wasn't as if this was a football program problem, but more so the collective's needing to figure out who to take pledges from, also who to trust. Florida will move past this, though coaches and other groups will use this against them in the short-term. But, I expect the Gator Collective and Guard to find the right solution, so that this never happens again.

Now, the former Miami commit and Florida Gator signee is looking for a new home, with a number of options on the table. But, timing will now become a major factor, with the option of having to enroll after spring or finding a school to enroll at very soon. This would typically be up to whether or not classes have started at that particular school or not, and even the drop/add date.

Either way, this will be an ongoing story to follow and a lesson learned by all parties.

Written by
Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series. Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football "Credit Card Scandal" along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.