The Jaden Rashada saga continues. Will the former Pittsburg QB play for Florida?

The Pittsburg High football community has read the same reports that others have this week.

Jaden Rashada might play for the University of Florida, or he might not.

It remains unclear after a report surfaced on Wednesday that the five-star quarterback wanted out of the letter of intent he signed last month to play for Florida.

“Honestly, it’s all been hearsay,” Pittsburg coach Charlie Ramirez said Friday night about the whirlwind of speculation that began when On3 Sports reported that Rashada asked to be released from his Florida commitment.

Rashada’s dad, Harlen, denied the On3 Sports report, telling Brandon Huffman of 247Sports that his son hadn’t sought a release from the letter of intent.

Harlen added, “We’re working through some things right now with Florida and hoping that they get resolved soon.”

What they’re possibly working through is the fallout from a $13 million Name, Image and Likeness deal that the Athletic reported fell apart, citing a program source close to the situation.

“I think the stuff that Harlen said in Brandon Huffman’s article is probably the most accurate from what we’re hearing,” Ramirez said.

Rashada, 19, and his father did not reply to messages left by the Bay Area News Group.

Fair or not, the quarterback who led Pittsburg to a state championship game last fall is a symbol of the wild frontier that the NIL era has become since the NCAA implemented an “interim” policy in June 2021 that allowed athletes to be paid for endorsement deals.

Last summer, Rashada reportedly agreed to a $9.5 million NIL deal when he orally committed to the University of Miami.

Rashada denied those reports, saying on social media, “Any report regarding my commitment to the University of Miami is false unless I was interviewed directly. All reports of my decision involving a NIL deal {are} inaccurate. I would never make a life/career choice for any monetary value.

“As I stated in my commitment live on TV I chose Miami because of the relationship I have with the coaches, players, and the direction the program is headed.”

In November, Rashada flipped to Florida.

He posted on Twitter at that time, “Over the past few months, I’ve been weighing my options heavily. I have dreamed of playing SEC football since I was a little kid. After a lot of prayer, conversations with my family and those close to me, I have decided to change my commitment and play for the University of Florida.

“I have tremendous respect for Miami and what they are going to accomplish there but I have watched this season and coach (Billy) Napier and his (Florida) team are building something very special in The Swamp and I want to be a part of it.”

In December, Rashada signed with Florida.

After the signing, Napier spoke enthusiastically about his future quarterback.

“I just think there’s a high level of trust on both ends there,” Napier said. “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.”

Back at Pittsburg, the football community is as much in the dark about the latest chapter in the Rashada saga as others.

“As everybody else is reading it, we’re reading it as well,” said Ramirez, who was promoted last month from defensive coordinator to head coach after Victor Galli retired.

Rashada finished his coursework at the high school in December and was planning to be an early college enrollee.

The deadline to enroll at Florida was Friday night.

It is not yet known whether Rashada registered for classes. But even if he didn’t, Ramirez said the quarterback could go the traditional route and join the team in the summer.

No matter how it unfolds, the Pittsburg community wants the best for its former star player.

“Great kid,” Ramirez said. “Great personality. Great character. We feel bad for what Jaden has to be going through. He does a pretty good job of keeping things that are being said on social media at a distance. He’s done the best any kid could possibly do in handling this ever since really the Miami commitment and even going from the Miami commitment to the Florida commitment and everything in between. He’s done as good as any kid could possibly do.”

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