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“It just meant more to be here” ASU QB Jaden Rashada tells Bussin’ with the Boys

Jaden Rashada had a lot to say on the Bussin' with the Boys podcast regarding his decision to come to ASU. © Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Taylor Lewan and Will Compton came to ASU to coach the Sun Devils’ spring game on Saturday. Afterwards, they sat down with some of the ASU players for their Bussin with the Boys’ podcast. In the first episode they released, Lewan and Compton spoke with incoming freshman QB Jaden Rashada and DB Jordan Clark. 

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In his two years as the starting varsity quarterback for Pittsburg High School in Northern California, Rashada threw for 5,816 yards and 80 touchdowns, completing 60% of his passes, and he tacked on 592 yards and nine touchdowns rushing. The 6-foot-4 four-star prospect committed to ASU in January, making him one of the Sun Devils’ biggest recruits ever and the best get for first-year coach Kenny Dillingham so far, after he endured a wild recruiting process.

Rashada discussed his decision to play for the Sun Devils on the podcast among other things:

The Infamous Florida NIL Deal

Rashada had arguably the most publicized story for an incoming freshman this season after he was granted a release from his NLI (National Letter of Intent) to Florida after they couldn’t hold a promise on a large NIL deal they offered him that was reportedly worth around $14 million. Originally, he was committed to Miami before Florida offered him the large NIL deal. 

“My thought process (during that time), it was a little rough, because I didn’t understand it at first,” he said. “(There were) a lot of question marks going on.”

Rashada explained later in the episode what happened at Florida.

“From my perspective, (the NIL situation) was just new to everybody,” he said. “A lot of that just comes down to trust, all that stuff aside. When you’re playing for somebody, you got to trust everything around you. It just came down to trust, and that’s why I ended up here (at ASU) to be honest.”

Family Ties and the Decision to Choose ASU

Rashada’s father, Harlen, was a defensive back at Arizona State from 1992 to 1994. Jaden told Lewan that he grew up around the program and it was the first college team he knew. 

“It just meant more to be here,” Rashada said of his decision to join the Sun Devils. 

He continued saying that he likes coach Dillingham because Dillingham grew up in Arizona and “he’s trying to fill the room with people who want to be here.”

Rashada explained his decision to choose the Sun Devils over multiple big programs. 

“In my honest opinion, Tempe is a big recruiting tool,” he said. “You win here, you can keep it going and who wouldn’t want to live out here? … This is definitely a place you can win.” 

He added that some other places win some years, but can’t keep it going. However, he feels like ASU can consistently keep winning and make it become “tradition.”

Expanding More on His Trust in Dillingham

Rashada went through a lot for an 18-year-old trying to make a big decision, especially with so much money involved. 

“A big thing here with me coming here, I noticed what it was before like as far as the NIL stuff, and it was making me realize what’s really important and what really like made me happy,” Rashada said. “Going through all that stuff, it was just making things worse and worse. It was bad.”

“I had to go somewhere where it meant more to me and where I could trust everybody in the building.”

Rashada had a past relationship with Dillingham when he was the offensive coordinator at Oregon. 

“Dilly (Dillingham) recruited me at Oregon my end of sophomore year and whole junior year,” Rashada said. “I almost committed to Oregon and Dilly told me, ‘Go make your visits, make sure this is the place you want to be.’ He always looked out like not even if it was in his favor. When I was committed other places, I was asking him like, ‘Hey what do you think of this? What do you think of that?’ He was one of the few coaches I had that relationship with.”

With the trust Rashada had in Dillingham, making the decision to commit to ASU was easy. 

“When I got my release (from my NLI), I kind of knew where I was going to end up going because that’s somebody I trust, he never really lied to me ever, always kept it pretty real,” Rashada said. 

His Time So Far at ASU

Coming in as a freshman, Rashada said he tried to learn a lot and picked it up quicker than he thought.

“I’m happy where I am now,” he said and added that he just has to keep growing. 

Rashada said that he’s been “acclimating pretty well” since coming to ASU.

He added: “I think living in Tempe makes it a little easier. Being from California, it’s not much different. I love it out here, like I don’t even miss home at all. I’m not even going back for summer, like no breaks or nothing. I’m staying out here.”

Rashada also if fond of the resources that are available to him at ASU. 

“You got everything you need out here,” he said. “A lot of resources, a lot of good networking.”

Expectations for ASU This Season

Rashada spoke on his expectations for ASU this season. 

“I think just winning (is my expectation),” Rashada said. “You kind of see how important it is to everybody on the team too, just with the energy coming in. So I think this year, I’m playing to win. (I want to) win as much games as possible.”

He thinks that the Sun Devils’ play this season will be the launching pad for years to come. 

“This year, we’ll set the tone for the years after that, and just build from there,” Rashada said. “I think this program can be playing for a Pac-12 championship. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened this year, and definitely not the next couple of years on top of that.”

Rashada feels that a strong veteran presence will help with this. 

“Especially with the older guys (we have), they come in, set the tone, no egos, (and help) a lot of the younger dudes out,” Rashada said. “That always shows a lot about a team.”

He came back to his trust in Dillingham. 

“Coach, he’s big on tradition, and having a culture, so he’s definitely trying to bring that back here,” Rashada said.

“I think the sky’s really the limit. I’m not even just saying that, we will shock some people.”

Arizona State spring game standouts

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on twitter via @Brendan_Mau

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