Devil in the making: ASU a dream come true for QB Jaden Rashada

Feb 2, 2023, 2:03 PM | Updated: 2:20 pm
Team Speed quarterback Jaden Rashada (5) warms up before the Under Armour Next All-America Football...
Team Speed quarterback Jaden Rashada (5) warms up before the Under Armour Next All-America Football Gameon January 03, 2023, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Arizona State Sun Devils football team gained their best 2023 recruit in four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound QB has definitely generated some buzz after the former Florida commit decided to call Tempe home.

It seems ASU head coach Kenny Dillingham is already starting to reap the benefits for his “24-carat gold” recruiting class for 2024:

Dillingham had been recruiting Rashada since he was the offensive coordinator at Florida State and Oregon, and the head coach continued that relationship with the signal caller even after he committed to play for another school.

“He would ask me questions: Coach, what do you think about this? And I was always just a sounding board for him,” Dillingham said Thursday. “That’s really what our job is as coaches is you’re not going to get every kid. You’re not supposed to get every kid, nor does it work out like that. My biggest thing is to keep relationships with these guys and be a sounding board for them.

“In this situation, that came back to a situation where he got back on the market and there was a period of time for about a month I couldn’t talk to him and then he got back on the market. He hits me up, ‘Hey coach,’ and from there it just happened naturally because our relationship had always been natural, genuine and I would continue that relationship even when I knew or thought I wasn’t going to be able to coach them and here we are today.”

In fact, the No. 31 overall recruit by ESPN is a legacy Sun Devil after his father, Harlen, played defensive back at ASU from 1992-94.

And if there was ever a story of manifesting a dream into reality, Jaden did so 10 years ago and even wrote — or drew — that vision out on paper.

“He’s just a great person. … This is a really, really good kid who wanted to be an Arizona State Sun Devil, whose dad played at Arizona State, who grew up wearing jerseys, who drew a picture and gave it to his dad when he was 8 years old of him playing at Sun Devil Stadium,” Dillingham said.

“It was in pencil. He showed it to me. That’s a kid who gets to live out his dream and that’s pretty special.”

Once Rashada steps foot on campus for spring ball, he will be entering a five-way quarterback battle, which will start with Trenton Bourguet getting first-team reps.

But just as we saw in 2022, the spring ball starting quarterback doesn’t always end up being QB1 come the start of the regular season.

So what should Sun Devil fans expect from a four-star quarterback from California who threw for 5,275 yards, 59 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in his senior year at Pittsburg High School?

“Shoot he does a lot of things best, but if you had to pin me down to one, I think he stresses the defense with what he can do when a play is off script,” ASU offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin said Thursday. “I can list a lot of things he does: He throws a lot of different balls from the pocket, he keeps his eyes downfield, he can give you things in the read game in the RPO.

“But if you were to look at it from a defensive coordinator standpoint in my opinion, I’m watching it going, ‘OK, I’ve made a call — the proper call, I’ve stopped the play that was called, yet all a sudden, he just used his feet not just to run, used his feet to extend to play, to create something.’ … That’s a dagger to a defensive coordinator or a defense in general.”

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Devil in the making: ASU a dream come true for QB Jaden Rashada