Matthew Stafford, Dylan Raiola help show just how much Georgia football has grown

Quarterback Matthew Stafford left UGA after his junior year, as the top player in the NFL draft. (University of Georgia)
University of Georgia

Georgia has had no problem landing elite quarterbacks over the years. Just since Kirby Smart has taken over, the Bulldogs have landed commitments from six quarterbacks who held a 5-star ranking at one point or another during the recruiting process.

Dylan Raiola became the latest to do so with his commitment on Monday. He is the No. 1 overall player in the class while doubling as the top-ranked quarterback.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, center, celebrates with assistant coaches Mike Bobo, left, and Todd Monken after their win against TCU in the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship at SoFi Stadium, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Ca. Georgia won 65-7. (Jason Getz /
Jason Getz /, AJC Freelancer

But it’s also a return to an era where Georgia wasn’t a sport-leveling entity. Smart told reporters last year Georgia isn’t going to be hunted. That it’s still hungry for more and will continue to pursue excellence at all costs.

Raiola’s commitment is the embodiment of that mindset. When it comes time for him to start, he’ll be asked to lead. And he’ll have to do so more successfully than Stafford did if the Bulldogs are going to maintain their spot atop the college landscape.

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