Quarterback Jaden Rashada announces transfer to play for Georgia Bulldogs

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada looks for a receiver during the team's game against Southern Utah on Sept. 1, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada looks for a receiver during the team's game against Southern Utah on Sept. 1, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Kirby Smart at last has his fourth quarterback, as Arizona State transfer Jaden Rashada announced he would be transferring to Georgia.

Rashada, who visited Georgia this week, has four seasons of eligibility remaining. He made the announcement on social media.

Rashada brings some starting experience to Georgia, as he started three games last season for the Sun Devils. He completed 44 of his 82 pass attempts for 485 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Many may best remember Rashada as a long-time Florida commit. Rashada signed with Florida as a member in the 2023 recruiting cycle, where he was rated as the No. 73 overall prospect. But after an NIL deal fell through, Rashada ended up at Arizona State.

Florida is being investigated for how it handled Rashada’s recruitment.

Smart has repeatedly made the quarterback position a point of emphasis after recruit Dylan Raiola flipped his commitment to Nebraska before signing day in February.

“I always want to have, our goal is to have four and a really good walk-on. That’s the goal,” Smart said. “We think we’ve got a preferred walk-on kid that’s a really good player that’s coming in, excited about him. We thought he was a really good player in our state. We’ll see what happens. I can’t predict the portal, I won’t even try to. I’m worried about our guys and the retention of our players.”

Rashada is not expected to be Georgia’s starting quarterback, as the Bulldogs have Carson Beck at the position.

Beck started 14 games for Georgia last season and is poised to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country for the 2024 season.

“Carson had a great spring to me. He’s got a quiet leadership, a lot of confidence,” Smart said of Beck after the G-Day spring game. “When things aren’t going well, kids and players and the O-line turn to him. He’s got really good moxie out on the field. He never got pressed or frustrated even today. He drove the team down, made some really elite throws there at the end to get us a chance to tie the ballgame.

“He knows how to navigate a pocket, he knows where to go with the ball, there’s nothing he hasn’t seen on defense. I’m happy with where he is. I want him to continue to grow as a leader.”

Behind Beck, Rashada will compete with Gunner Stockton and Ryan Puglisi for backup reps. Stockton was the primary No. 2 quarterback this spring, while Puglisi missed a portion of spring practice with a knee injury.

This will be Stockton’s third season at Georgia, while Puglisi signed as a member of the 2024 recruiting class. Stockton won’t be caught off-guard by the addition of Rashada, as he knows Georgia’s desire to get to four scholarship quarterbacks.

Stockton welcomes the challenge.

“Coach Smart has always said he wants four quarterbacks,” Stockton said earlier this spring. “Four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, and that’s probably what it should be at the University of Georgia. As a quarterback, why not would you want to come here? It should be a battle, a competition and everything. It’s awesome.”

Stockton has only 19 career pass attempts, 10 of which came in the bowl win over Florida State last season. But he does have a lot of familiarity in the Georgia system.

With Beck likely off to the NFL following the 2024 season, Stockton, Puglisi and Rashada will compete for the starting job in 2025. The Bulldogs also hold commitments from Class of 2025 4-star quarterback Ryan Montgomery and 4-star Class of 2026 quarterback Jared Curtis.

Rashada becomes the eighth transfer addition the Bulldogs have made this offseason. He joins running back Trevor Etienne, wide receivers Colbie Young, London Humphreys and Michael Jackson, tight end Benjamin Yurosek, defensive lineman Xzavier McLeod and defensive back Jake Pope. Of those players, only Yurosek did not participate in spring drills.

Georgia completed its spring game earlier this month and opens the 2024 season Aug. 31 against Clemson at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“We’re going to target some guys’ weights, get some weights done, lift,” Smart said on what comes next. “We’ve got to get our bottom half of our roster to the top half. You’re not gonna get there watching spring-game tape. You gotta go and get to work. We’re gonna work really hard on those guys. We’re gonna keep meeting and talking to our players. Tell them the job’s not done. We’re not where we need to be. We just don’t get to practice anymore. You get to do other things.”