The stars are shining bright in Athens. Dylan Raiola committed to Georgia on Monday. This will be the third five-star quarterback in the last four classes that Kirby Smart has landed joining Brock Vandagriff (2020) and Gunnar Stockton (2021). Smart missed out on Arch Manning in the 2022 class when he committed to Texas. Smart was determined not to miss on Raiola. Georgia has raised the standard and in the nation with its back-to-back national championships in the last two seasons. Raiola stated it was a key factor that attracted him to the Bulldogs. “There’s a culture and standard that I was attracted to. The more time that went by, the stronger I felt about Georgia and ultimately led to this decision,” he told ESPN. Georgia beat out USC and Nebraska, Raiola’s dad’s, Dominic Raiola, alma mater, to earn the commitment. Here is what to expect from the nation’s top recruit.
Athens,GA is Home!!! I’m a Dawg!! Go Dawgs📍🐶 pic.twitter.com/VWN9Vf55sy
— Dylan Raiola (@RaiolaDylan) May 15, 2023
Raiola is the top prize in the 2024 recruiting class. He is the top-ranked quarterback and player in both ESPN and 247’s recruiting base. The 6′ 3” 220-pound quarterback is a dual-sport athlete out of Phoenix. Chris Signeletary of 247Sports raved about Raiola’s mechanics and arm. “Raiola has above-average mobility and is able to buy time while locating his receivers and going through progressions smoothly. Flashes plus arm strength to make the throws from a variety of arm angles with velocity or touch as required.” He added, “(He) has very few holes in his game and is ahead of the curve mechanically and possesses the arm strength that puts him in elite company.” Georgia faced stiff competition on the quarterback.
Georgia Beats Out Nebraska and USC
Raiola originally committed to Ohio State in May 2022. After decomitting from the Buckeyes in December, Nebraska, USC, and Georgia each joined in the race for the five-star quarterback. The Cornhuskers’ seemed to have family ties working in its favor. In addition to his being his father’s alma mater, Raiola’s uncle, Donovan Raiola, is Nebraska’s offensive line coach. Lincoln Riley also joined in the race for the top quarterback. Riley has a pedigree of developing top quarterbacks, with Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray, and Caleb Williams already on his resume. Dominic Raiola shared with the DawgNation podcast what differentiated the Bulldogs from the competition. “There is always a good vibe in that building and it is very business-like. Kirby says when you walk into that building everything is geared toward making you a better man and winning.” Raiola joins a talented and deep quarterback room in 2024.
A Croweded Quarterback Room
The talk of Spring practice this year was the quarterback competition between Carson Beck, Vandagriff, and Stockton. It looks like the competition will continue into the future. Kirby Smart has done a masterful job of not only attracting top talent but also keeping them in Athens. Although he did not declare Beck the starter for next season, Smart was able to convince Vandagriff from hitting the Transfer Portal for greener pastures. Smart and his staff have done a masterful job of using the competitive atmosphere to get the best out of their players and turning that into championships. Having a quarterback full of four- and five-stars certainly helps.
Photo courtesy: Alex Gould / USA TODAY NETWORK