Jaden Rashada Grateful for Starting Nod for Season Opener

Jaden Rashada’s year has been a whirlwind.

He was committed to Miami in November and then flipped to Florida before being released of his letter of intent in January and signing with the Sun Devils in February. He was just getting his feet under him in spring ball as a player and a student. The talent was always there, but it was a massive life adjustment with a lot of twists and turns in not a lot of time. 

There was a lot of talk about NIL, about modern college athletes, about a lot of things away from the football field. 

But Rashada kept his focus on the field, working with Kenny Dillingham and Beau Baldwin to get comfortable on the field. When he did talk to the media, he always brought it back to gratitude. He was grateful to be in Tempe with a coaching staff he loves and playing for his father’s alma mater. He was grateful to be with his brother on the football team. 

He now has gratitude for the opportunity ahead as he has been tabbed as the starting quarterback for the season-opener against Southern Utah on Aug. 31. 

Rashada consistently made throws that would make media and visitors stop and stare at practice. He brought an “it” factor to the field, but it was presumed the starting quarterback battle was between incumbent starter Trenton Bourguet and Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne while Rashada continued to acclimate to Pac-12 football. 

But then Rashada really started to string together quality practice after quality practice. He saw expanded time at the Camp Tontozona scrimmage on August 12 and wowed attendees. That same day, Drew Pyne went down with a hamstring injury, so Rashada at the very least had to prepare to be second on the depth chart. 

But he continued on an upward trajectory and was able to pull off explosive plays, something Dillingham said the offense had lacked in fall camp. He also started limiting mistakes. 

It’s been clear this is how the season is starting, but it’s anyone’s guess how it ends. 

Drew Pyne could get fully healthy and jumps in the driver’s seat. Rashada could struggle. Bourguet could make the most out of an opportunity, something he did last year that provided a silver lining for a 3-9 season. Or Rashada could continue to thrive with Dillingham and never look back. 

But we do know right now that Rashada is the starter.

And he’s grateful.