— Dylan Raiola (@RaiolaDylan) December 18, 2023
Raiola originally committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes before flipping his initial commitment to Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs. Now, just two days before the start of the early signing period, Raiola has flipped again and committed to join the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the 2024 season.
Raiola is the No. 8 overall recruit in the 2024 class, according to ESPN. The same rankings have him as the top pocket-passing quarterback in the class.
This is a historic commitment for Nebraska given the fact that Raiola would be the highest-ranked high school recruit to join the Huskers since recruiting rankings began in 2006. Matt Rhule is already responsible for one of the best recruiting achievements in Nebraska’s history in just his second year as the head coach for the Huskers.
Dylan Raiola’s life was intertwined with the Nebraska Cornhuskers since birth
Raiola’s father, Dominic, was an All-American center that was part of the Cornhuskers’ program from 1997-2000. The Rimington Award winner was drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
Raiola’s uncle, Donovan, is currently the offensive line coach for Nebraska. Donovan Raiola was the only member of Scott Frost’s staff to be kept around after Matt Rhule was hired last year. In an ESPN article, Raiola expressed the way in which Nebraska’s long-standing ties with the Raiola family lured him.
“I firmly believe that Nebraska is in my blood,” Raiola told ESPN. “It’s a great opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself. Nebraska is a special place.”
The news came shortly after the Georgia Bulldogs current starting quarterback, Carson Beck, announced that he would be returning to play for Kirby Smart next season. While Raiola wanted to ensure that he’d have a chance to play, he also expressed a fondness for the opportunity to help the Huskers return to the glory days.
“I think it’ll mean a lot to bring it back,” Raiola said. “Just because of the legacy of so many great players that have walked through that locker room that’s been established there — to keep doing what they established.
“… Just the history of the Nebraska football program. It’s not just another program.”
The Cornhuskers have not participated in a bowl game for seven years. In that time, three head coaches have been able to call Lincoln home. This is a far cry from winning three national championships in four years, a feat they accomplished almost 30 years ago.
After losing the chance at one of the top QBs in the portal in Ohio State transfer Kyle McCord, Nebraska and its fans are ecstatic to learn that they will not be hung out to dry.
DYLAN RAIOLA TO NEBRASKA.
NEBRASKA IS SOOOOO BACK🔥 pic.twitter.com/VXILxGgH2I
— Bussin’ With The Boys (@BussinWTB) December 18, 2023
DYLAN RAIOLA IS N!
NEBRASKA IS BACK!!!! pic.twitter.com/752eoXbmE6
— HuskGuys (@HuskGuys) December 18, 2023
DYLAN RAIOLA IS N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️ #GBR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BIGGEST RECRUITING WIN OF OUR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Sully Scoop Pod (@Sully_Scoop) December 18, 2023
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are desperate for consistent quarterback play, and Dylan Raiola could be the answer
The Nebraska Cornhuskers tried their hand at the transfer portal last year, and much to the chagrin of many Husker fans, quarterback play left a lot to be desired in 2023. Newcomer Jeff Sims was supposed to be the guy to help Matt Rhule kick off his Nebraska tenure with a bang, but he ended up turning the ball over at a rate from which the Cornhuskers could not recover.
Nearly 40% of Sims-led drives ended in turnovers. Whether it was fumbles or interceptions, Sims could not take care of the football. It didn’t only prevent the offense from putting points on the board, but it gave one of the top defenses in the nation a lot of tough situations.
Sims was injured in the Colorado game, and due to his four early turnovers it took him until the Maryland game to get another real shot at being the signal caller. Heinrich Haarberg was the quarterback for the majority of the season, but his inability to move the ball downfield through the air stifled the Nebraska offense.
Haarberg had a 49% completion rate, and threw seven interceptions in the nine games in which he participated. Haarberg was a formidable rusher of the football, but his turnover-prone nature resulted in his replacement as well.
The last quarterback to start for the Huskers was Chubba Purdy, the brother of NFL MVP front-runner Brock Purdy. Purdy did a better job of holding onto the ball in his limited time as the QB, but he still managed to throw a game-ending interception against Nebraska’s biggest rival, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
As a team, the Huskers only threw for 1,631 yards and had 16 interceptions. Only 10 passing touchdowns on the season between three quarterbacks made the Huskers one of the most inept offenses in the country.
A marginally better quarterback could’ve easily sent Nebraska to a bowl game this season. There is no telling how far a quarterback with the talent of Raiola can take the Huskers in 2024.