Nebraska landed a massive recruiting victory on Monday when 2024 5-star quarterback Dylan Raiola flipped his commitment from Georgia to the Cornhuskers.
Raiola, the son of former Nebraska All-American center Dominic Raiola, is rated as the No. 1 quarterback and No. 8 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class per the 247Sports Composite rankings. His commitment gives Nebraska its highest-ranked quarterback signee in program history.
Raiola Originally Committed to Ohio State Before Flipping to Georgia
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Raiola is considered an elite quarterback prospect with the potential to make an early impact at the college level. He committed to Ohio State in May, picking the Buckeyes over offers from Georgia, Texas A&M, USC and others.
However, Raiola backed off that pledge in November before committing to Georgia two weeks later. At the time, he cited Georgia’s culture and opportunity to compete for championships as reasons for his change of heart.
Most expected Raiola would sign with the Bulldogs during the early period this week. Instead, he has now flipped his commitment to Nebraska in a major coup for new head coach Matt Rhule.
Decision Cements Rhule’s Strong Start to Recruiting at Nebraska
Rhule has made landing an elite quarterback prospect a top priority since taking over the Nebraska program earlier this month. He prioritized recruiting Raiola from the start, making an in-home visit shortly after he was introduced as head coach.
That full-court press paid off with Raiola’s flip. He is the highest-ranked commit that Rhule has landed in his coaching career.
Some key factors that helped Nebraska win this recruiting battle:
Family connections: Raiola’s father was an All-American center for Nebraska who went on to a long NFL career. The family’s ties to the program likely played a role.
Early playing time pitch: Rhule sold Raiola on having a chance to compete for the starting job as a true freshman. Nebraska’s current QB room lacks high-end talent.
Recruiting momentum: Raiola is the fifth 4 or 5-star commit for Nebraska in the 2024 class. The talent infusion has generated buzz.
With Raiola now on board, Nebraska moves up to the No. 4 class nationally per 247Sports. Securing an elite QB prospect is huge in Rhule’s bid to revitalize the program through recruiting.
What Kind of Player Is Raiola?
Although still raw in some areas, Raiola possesses all the physical tools you want in a top-flight quarterback prospect. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, he has ideal size and strength to withstand the rigors of major college football.
Raiola is an athletic passer who excels at throwing on the run. He displays advanced footwork, mechanics and ball placement for his age. His status as a multi-year starter has allowed him to develop advanced field vision and anticipation.
While he continues polishing some technical aspects, Raiola already shows the ability to attack all levels of the field as a passer. He has posted huge numbers throughout his high school career. Last season, Raiola passed for 3,223 yards with 36 touchdowns against just five interceptions in leading Chandler (Ariz.) High to a state championship.
In terms of areas for improvement, Raiola can still be more consistent with his accuracy at times. He also has a bit of a long, looping throwing motion that will likely be condensed some at the college level.
But there are no physical limitations here. Raiola ranks as the most talented QB prospect Nebraska has signed since Tommy Frazier in 1992. He has legitimate superstar upside if he reaches his potential.
What Is the Impact of Raiola’s Commitment?
This is an absolutely massive recruiting victory for Nebraska and validation of Rhule’s hiring. The fact Raiola flipped from defending national champion Georgia shows just how highly he is coveted. He immediately becomes the face of Rhule’s first signing class.
Landing Raiola also signals that top prospects believe Rhule can return Nebraska to national prominence. It will ramp up recruiting momentum heading into the February signing period. Other elite prospects will take notice of a player of Raiola’s caliber believing in Rhule’s vision.
In terms of on-field impact, Nebraska fans should be ecstatic to finally land a potential franchise QB. Raiola will compete for the starting job right away next fall. If not in 2023, he would almost certainly take over the reins in 2024.
Raiola’s high school coach speaks glowingly of his leadership intangibles and rare playmaking talent. Nebraska has lacked dynamic quarterback play for years. Raiola brings hope of stabilizing the position long-term.
What’s Next for Raiola and Nebraska?
Although he could re-open his recruitment pending coaching changes, Raiola told 247Sports that he is “1,000 percent locked in” on Nebraska. Barring the unforeseen, he will sign with the Huskers during the early signing window this week.
For Nebraska, priority No. 1 becomes keeping Raiola in the fold through signing day next February. Assuming Rhule’s staff stays intact, there is little reason to believe he will flip again. Still, opposing coaches will continue trying to change his mind, requiring Nebraska to recruit him daily.
Raiola plans to sign early, enroll next summer and compete for the starting job as a true freshman. While breaking into the lineup immediately is no guarantee, he has as good a chance as any QB ever has with the Huskers.
If Raiola reaches his enormous potential in Lincoln, we could look back at this commitment as the pivotal moment in Nebraska’s resurgence on the national stage.
Raiola’s Recruiting Profile
- Composite Rating from 247Sports
How Nebraska Fans and Recruits Are Reacting on Social Media
Raiola’s flip naturally sparked an explosion of reaction on Husker social media channels. Fans, current players, recruits and program alumni expressed excitement and shock at Nebraska landing its highest-ever rated quarterback commit.
Here is a sampling of Twitter reaction to the monumental news:
— Jordan Westerkamp (@JordanWesty1) December 19, 2023
LETS GOOOOO!!! WELCOME HOME DYLAN https://t.co/YoJFtkrDdL
— Garrett Nelson (@GarrettNelson_) December 19, 2023
— Matt Rhule (@CoachMattRhule) December 19, 2023
The overwhelmingly positive reaction shows just how significant this recruiting victory is for Nebraska. After years of futility and losing top in-state recruits, landing a national top-10 prospect like Raiola resonates deeply with Huskers fans.
If Rhule can string together more elite classes backed by Raiola’s star power, the future is suddenly very bright in Lincoln. This could prove a transformational day for a program desperate to return to college football’s upper echelon.
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