Kenny Dillingham got his first big commitment as Arizona State head coach on Wednesday when ESPN 300 quarterback Jaden Rashada committed to the Sun Devils.
Rashada is the No. 31 prospect out of Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California. He had signed with Florida in the early signing period with the help of a name, image and likeness deal for more than $13.5 million with a Florida-based collective. But the Associated Press later reported that the Gator Collective terminated its agreement with Rashada, which was to be paid out over four years.
Rashada was released from his national letter of intent by the Gators in early January and he began searching for a new school. The potential suitors included Cal, Washington, TCU and Arizona State. He took visits to TCU and Arizona State and his decision seemingly came down to those two schools.
“Just want to keep this short and let it be known I’ll be attending Arizona State University, my childhood dream school, my fathers alma mater, a place where I’m happy and a school where the Head Coach has always had my back !” Rashad said in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday. “Glad to truly be home!”
Two sources told ESPN that the Rashada family was not focused on NIL deals in this second process. A source said the family made it clear that they did not want to engage in NIL deals with Arizona State’s collective prior to Rashada’s signing.
The relationship Rashada had built with the coaching staff and the fact that Rashada’s father, Harlen, played football at Arizona State all factored into his decision on the day before the February signing period.
Dillingham has been on the job for only a few months, but has been active in rebuilding the roster through high school recruiting and the transfer portal. Along with Rashada, he is also bringing in Notre Dame quarterback transfer Drew Pyne, BYU quarterback transfer Jacob Conover and three-star Israel Carter out of Centennial High School in Corona, California.
Rashada is the first ESPN 300 commitment for Dillingham and the Arizona State staff and provides a boost of momentum for the program heading into the 2024 cycle.