USA TODAY high school sportsFriday Night Notes is a weekly roundup of high school recruiting that looks at the latest news from around the country – from the class of 2023 to ’24 and beyond.
Absolute chaos! That’s been the state of the transfer portal for a few weeks now, as college and high school recruits across the country explore their options in a brave new world of long-overdue compensation for student-athletes. Unfortunately, verifiable details of NIL transactions can be difficult to find and reporting them presents an unprecedented challenge for the industry.
This week, the level of intrigue reached a new high, embodied by the still ongoing recruitment between one of the top QB prospects in the class of 2023 and the Power 5 school to which he is (perhaps) committed.
Specifically, the ongoing drama between the Pittsburgh (Calif.) four stars quarterback Jaden Rashada and Florida is as confusing as recruiting news gets. This is also a highly variable situation. For Rashada’s full recruitment story, we recommend G. Alan Taylor fully detailed timeline this morning in an excellent feature on The Athletic.
Here’s the shorter version:
On June 26, Rashada announced his commitment to Miami, although Florida was considered his favorite. Things changed on November 10 when Rashada and the Gator Collective agreed to terms on a 13 million dollars NIL deal to get him to turn around. Understandably there was a great resistance that figure is accurate, but that’s what Taylor’s source says. In any case, after signing his deal, Rashada officially committed to Florida.
This is where things got really weird…
On December 7, Eddie Rojas, CEO of Gator Collective sent a letter terminating the contract. According to The Athletic, there are conflicting reports as to why.
Earlier this week, the Athletic received a report that Rashada would not enroll at Florida. Then on Thursday, On3’s Pete Nakos reported this Rashada asked for release from his letter of intent with Florida. However, Rashada’s father, Harlen, denied this report.
Harlan Rashada, the father of the 4-star Gators QB commit, tells The Athletic that his son “has not applied for a release from Florida.”
— G. Allan Taylor (@GAllanTaylor) January 11, 2023
In a statementRashada’s father also said they are in constant talks with Florida, but acknowledged that things will become a challenge if he doesn’t enroll by the end of today, which is the deadline for students to start the spring semester.
If there is an update on Rashada’s condition later today, we will share it here.
While we await a decision on Rashada’s status, let’s check in with a few other high-end recruits. First, the five-star St. Ignatius (Chicago, IL). defenseman Justin Scott has narrowed his list down to eight schools.
Scott has A total of 33 offers, but his last eight are Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Ohio, Alabama and Michigan, Colorado and Miami. Here’s a video of Scott breaking down his Rivals finalists.
Five-star DL Justin Scott is down to eight schools – USC, Notre Dame, Colorado, Oregon, Miami, Ohio State, Alabama and Michigan.@Rivals_Clint we sat down with him to talk about his finalists: https://t.co/lvkPymiuz3 pic.twitter.com/SN2COuibda
— Rivals (@Rivals) January 11, 2023
For what it’s worth, On3 predicts Scott will stay close to home and select Notre Dame.
Considering the composite rankings, Scott (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) is ranked number 4 in his position and No. 1 among Illinois prospects. He is currently ranked No. 18 in the 2024 class.
Another elite cornerback who will make a decision soon is Glenville (Ohio) five-star cornerback Bryce West. According to a report by Steve Wiltfong at 247 SportsWest will visit Michigan this weekend.
West (5-foot-11, 177 pounds) is ranked fourth at his position and #1 overall in the state. However, he has offers from 20 other schools – including Ohio State. 247 Sports predicts that is where he will commit.
If West chooses the Wolverines, he may not get the head coach he signed up for. Jim Harbaugh has helped make Michigan a recruiting power in recent years. He’s in a bit of hot water right now, though. We learned last week that Harbaugh and his program were under investigation by the NCAA for alleged recruitment violations.
Harbaugh may be considering leaving — as he was reported to be interviewing for the position of head coach of the Denver Broncos earlier this week. The Carolina Panthers have also reportedly expressed interest in hiring him. Harbaugh’s former NFL division rival Pete Carroll made a similar move when he entered recruitment issues at USC before jumping to coach the Seattle Seahawks.