Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect additional comments from John Ruiz and the Gator Collective.
“Miami outbid Florida,” another user said. “Call it what it is.”
“Miami dropped the big bags for Rashada,” a third poster shared.
Yet, Michael W. Caspino with Forward Counsel in Newport Beach, Calif., said the rumor mill isn’t accurate this time around. Caspino – who has built a reputation as the NIL lawyer representing many top football and basketball prospects – said Rashada took a “considerably lesser NIL deal” by picking the Hurricanes.
“Jaden left millions on the table,” said Caspino, who confirmed he represented Rashada in his NIL negotiations with collectives across the country. “Millions. He did not pick the highest offer. He went there because he loves Miami, the coaches, and the opportunity.”
Jaden Rashada’s Miami NIL deal worth $9.5 million
Multiple sources told On3 Rashada agreed to a NIL deal with Miami mega-booster John Ruiz for $9.5 million. The same sources said Rashada turned down an offer from Florida’s Gator Collective for $11 million. Both offers blow out of the water the Caspino-brokered $8 million deal for a five-star recruit thought to be Tennessee quarterback commitment Nico Iamaleava.
Both the Gator Collective and Ruiz took to social media after On3’s initial report to say they were not involved in Rashada’s recruitment.
“The report by On3.com is inaccurate as it relates to Jaden Rashad,” Ruiz said. “I have never spoken to Mr. Caspino about Jaden Rashada. Mr. Caspino and I spoke about an unrelated player months ago and had a very professional and pleasant conversation. I respect him.”
It’s believed to be the highest-known NIL deal for a high school recruit to date. It also further reinforces that NIL has created a multi-million market for blue-chip quarterbacks. Rashada has an On3 NIL Valuation of $492,000 and ranks 60th in the On3 NIL 100.
The NCAA has made it known NIL cannot be used to induce recruits. Enforcement director Jeff Duncan reminded members in a recent letter that the NCAA is “working tirelessly to develop information and investigate potential violations.” However, On3 has independently reviewed a standard NIL contract from Caspino to confirm the language in the deal seemingly would make it compliant with existing bylaws – even the NCAA’s guidance that was aimed at limiting the impact of collectives and boosters that facilitate NIL deals for athletes.
Did Florida fumble the ball?
Jaden Rashada has openly talked about his fondness for the Miami coaches and the chance to make a big impact in Coral Gables.
“I love the opportunity there,” Rashada said recently. “Along with the relationship that I have with the staff. I believe they will run their conference these next few years.”
But Caspino said Florida’s collective didn’t help the Gator’s chances during the run-up to Rashada’s decision.
“Florida is the most dysfunctional collective in all of college football,” Caspino said. “I plan on steering my clients away from them. From my standpoint, I never ever want to deal with them again. If it weren’t for the collective that’s completely dysfunctional at Florida, he probably would have been there.”
Before publishing the story, On3 reached out to a representative with the Gator Collective for comment. Messages were not returned until Monday morning. However, the organization released a statement on Twitter late Sunday night on Caspino’s comments.
“The recent comments by California lawyer Michael Caspino have been brought to our attention,” the statement read. “Gator Collective has never had any communications with Mr. Caspino about Jaden Rashada or any recruits. Rather, Gator Collective has refused to engage in any dialogue with Mr. Caspino on numerous occasions as Gator Collective does not approve of his tactics and has no interest in engaging in activities which violate Florida law and NCAA Interim Policy and may put athletes’ eligibility at risk.”
Caspino went on to say he is hoping for Billy Napier to better organize Florida’s recruiting efforts because he wants to see him succeed in Gainesville.