Arizona State named freshman Jaden Rashada as its starting quarterback, a program source told The Athletic. Here’s what you need to know:
- Rashada was On3’s No. 6 QB and No. 73 player in the 2023 recruiting class. The Pittsburg, Calif., native becomes the second true freshman to open the season as starting quarterback at Arizona State, following Jayden Daniels.
- He beat out Trenton Bourguet and Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne, who suffered a hamstring injury on August 12.
- Rashada was a former Florida commit who left Gainesville after his name, image and likeness deal — reportedly for $13 million — fell through. He later signed with the Sun Devils.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
How surprising was this?
This was an interesting QB competition. Bourguet started the final five games of last season. Pyne won eight games last season at Notre Dame. Pyne appeared in 17 games for the Irish, completing 181 passes for 2,257 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Then there was Rashada, the prized freshman. Bourguet was a safe pick. Pyne, before he injured his hamstring in a team scrimmage, was a safe pick. But Rashada kept getting better. His arm talent always stood out, but his decision-making improved.
There was no doubt the freshman had the highest ceiling. The question was always about readiness. coach Kenny Dillingham decided that the time is now. – Haller
It’s not about Pyne’s injury
Rashada enrolled at Arizona State for the spring but thrived in preseason camp. Pyne, who took the majority of first-team reps in the spring, injured his hamstring earlier this month, but a team source downplayed Pyne’s injury as an influence in Rashada’s emergence as the team’s starter.
“He’s special,” the source said, adding that Rashada’s arm talent was on an NFL level when he arrived in Tempe. — Ubben
Rashada had $13.85 million coming his way from a Florida collective in exchange for autographs, fan engagement events, social posts and his residence in Gainesville. Until he didn’t.
One of the wildest recruiting sagas in college football history featured its most public, embarrassing chapter after the Gator Collective terminated the deal on Dec. 7, 2022, two days after Rashada’s initial payment of $500,000 was due and had yet to arrive.
“Rashada is probably a poster child for kids that were promised a lot and people didn’t deliver and now they’re stuck,” defensive coordinator Brian Ward told The Athletic. “How do you separate the deals that are real and the ones that aren’t?”
The rumor mill churned over the next six weeks, and on Jan. 17, Rashada was officially granted a release from his letter of intent at Florida.
(Photo: Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)