No. 1 contender in the 2024 draft class, quarterback Dylan Raiola, signed for Georgia Monday.
Raiola is a six-foot-tall, 220-pound signal caller from Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona. A son of former NFL offensive player Dominic Raiola, he chose Georgia over USC and Nebraska.
“There’s a culture and a standard that attracted me,” Raiola told ESPN. “As time went by, my feelings for Georgia grew and that ultimately led to this decision.”
Athens, GA is home!!! I’m a buddy!! Go buddy📍🐶 pic.twitter.com/VWN9Vf55sy
— Dylan Raiola (@RaiolaDylan) May 15, 2023
This is the second signing for Raiola, who originally announced for Ohio State in May 2022, through his father’s alma mater, Nebraska, as well as Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Notre Dame, Oregon and USC, among others. It was an important move for Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and his team back then, but Raiola left the Buckeyes on December 17, 2022.
When Raiola gave up his contract, his father told ESPN that Dylan would not be making any announcements any time soon and that he wanted to take his time with the next decision. He visited Nebraska, USC and Georgia. The Trojans made some progress after his visit, but Georgia was always in the picture.
“I learned a lot from my first experience. This time I took my time and never felt rushed or pressured to sign,” said Raiola. “I was able to have conversations with my family, my pastors and mentors. The stability allowed me to be calm, be patient and let God guide me.”
“I appreciate any coach who has invested to get to know me and my family.”
As a junior, Raiola threw for 2,435 yards, 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. During his sophomore season, he threw for 3,341 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions and had 11 rushing touchdowns in the last two years.
Ohio State was able to fill its spot with ESPN 300 quarterback Air Noland, the No. 47 recruit overall, but neither Nebraska nor USC included a quarterback in their 2024 class. The Trojans have signed the No. 1 quarterback of the 2023 cycle in Malachi Nelson, so Lincoln Riley and his staff don’t necessarily need to sign a quarterback in 2024 unless it’s someone of Raiola’s caliber.
Nebraska added Georgia Tech transfer quarterback Jeff Sims this past offseason, but will likely still look to add another signaller this cycle, whether it’s a high school contender or an end-of-season transfer.
For Georgia, the Dawgs didn’t sign a quarterback in the 2023 cycle but added ESPN 300 recruit Gunner Stockton in 2022. As of now, Stockton is on the roster along with Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff, but Beck will be a senior after Raiola comes to campus and Beck and Vandagriff will be juniors.
“Georgia’s program is not based on one person or one position group,” Raiola said. “I strive to grow and develop as a person and as an athlete. I look forward to working with Coach.” [Mike] Bobo and Coach [Montgomery] VanGorder.
“It’s quite unique how it comes full circle when Coach Bobo develops Uncle Matthew.” [Stafford] during his time in Georgia.
Signing a youngster like Raiola was crucial to the Georgia offense’s future success, and he doesn’t need to come into the game right away. But given his talent, he’ll be pushing the other three quarterbacks and trying to see the field as early as possible.
With his announcement, Georgia now has nine ESPN 300 commitments, including two five-star players in Raiola and Corner Ellis Robinson IV. Prior to Raiola’s announcement, the Dawgs held the No. 1 spot overall and were only able to extend their lead over Ohio State and Michigan.
“The substance behind it [Georgia’s] “Success is the biggest factor,” said Raiola. “Trainer [Kirby] Smart built this program to last and I am excited and honored to be a part of it. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the field, or in the weight room, I know I’m being pushed to do my best every day.”