Florida Football: The Jaden Rashada saga is off to Athens

The former Gator commit is set to become a member of Georgia
Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY

When Jaden Rashada was formally released from his letter of intent to play for Florida Football and made his way to Arizona State, most Gator fans took the approach to let bygones be bygones as the former four-star QB would be tucked away out west and far away from the review mirror.

But now set to claim his fourth logo in under two years, Rashada's journey is set to bring him squarely back into Florida's backyard.

Florida Football: Rash Decision

In the 90s, the band Semisonic once said "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Georgia will be Rashada's fourth new beginning as Arizona State became his third beginning's end when he opted to hit the transfer portal after being beaten out in the spring by Sam Leavitt, who transferred into ASU from Michigan State in December.

Opting for Athens just means the ghost of Rashada will continue to linger around Gainesville for at least another year. Still, with or without the NIL nonsense that will forever be connected with his story, it's unlikely Rashada would have ever taken meaningful snaps in Gainesville even if he had arrived on campus.

Given how last season played out, it is possible Rashada would have had the start against FSU that Max Brown took after Graham Mertz got hurt. But even if Rashada went out and had a great game, it's unlikely he would have stolen the reigns from Mertz heading into the 2024 season.

Would he have been content to wait another year? Only he can answer that, but what would have eventually been his fork-in-the-road moment in Gainesville would have been a showdown with him and DJ Lagway for the starting role in 2025. Lagway still has to prove himself at Florida, but if he is who we think he is, it is unlikely Rashada would have won that battle, and he would have been gone.

It is also a bit perplexing to figure out what Rashada's vision is in Athens. Beyond an NIL check that he couldn't pass up, he's almost guaranteed to sit behind Carson Beck this season. If the goal is to be the starter in 2025, he's going to have to beat out former top 150 overall QBs Gunnar Stockton and Ryan Puglisi, as well as new commit Ryan Montgomery.

Considering he just got beat in Tempe by a guy who was a fringe four-star at best in Leavitt, we can't say with confidence that is a bet we are willing to take.

It all leads to one of three scenarios playing out over the next couple of seasons:

1. Rashada does become the starter at Georgia, beats Florida and Lagway, and Gator fans will forever be haunted by his name.

2. Rashada becomes the starter, Lagway beats Georgia, and Florida fans celebrate in a moment of catharsis not felt in a long time.

3. Rashada never sees the field in Athens and has another new beginning because of this beginning's end

The great part is that only time will tell as another chapter in the Jaden Rashada Saga is about to begin.