ATHENS — Dylan Raiola once again dominated headlines this week due to a back-and-forth between his father and ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit. For those who followed his recruitment, this is hardly anything new.
As for the quarterback that Georgia actually signed, he’s hard at work as Ryan Puglisi makes the transition to college football.
While far less-hyped than Raiola, Puglisi is an accomplished quarterback in his own right. The 4-star prospect from Paxton, Mass., finished as the No. 10 overall quarterback prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Not that recruiting rankings are everything, but that’s higher ranked than Carson Beck and Gunner Stockton were prior to arriving at Georgia.
“Super strong arm, great kid, super smart,” Beck said of Puglisi. “Having a guy like that added into addition into the quarterback room is always good and always drives competition and you know pushes all the guys around us to be better.”
Puglisi first committed to Georgia in October of 2022, before it landed a commitment from Raiola. Todd Monken was the offensive coordinator for Georgia at that point in time but Puglisi remained committed when Mike Bobo took over.
While Raiola was taking a last-minute visit to Nebraska while still publicly committed to Georgia, Puglisi was already on campus and participating in bowl practice for Georgia.
“Big, strong kid with a live arm. Athletic, has some athletic ability,” Bobo said. “And a confident kid that wanted to come and compete at the University of Georgia, and I like that.”
Puglisi isn’t likely to play much of a role for Georgia this season. The Bulldogs bring back Beck, who is seen as one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Gunner Stockton is entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback, as Stockton got his first extended run in Georgia’s win over Florida State.
Georgia tried to bring in UNLV quarterback Jayden Maiava, only for him to decide to transfer to USC instead. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Georgia once again pursue a quarterback in the spring transfer portal window as the Bulldogs want to have four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.
It’s partially why Georgia intended on taking two quarterbacks this past cycle in Raiola and Puglisi.
Even with another body in the quarterback room, long-term optimism is still very high for Puglisi. While he won’t make headlines at the rate Raiola, who is likely to be Nebraska’s starting this year, Georgia still feels very, very good about having Puglisi in the program.
“He sees himself as a guy that needs to come in and develop under a system,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said on National Signing Day. “He’s seen Carson’s success, so I think he understands that. He wants to grow and get better.
“Quarterback is the leader of the team and leader of your class. He’s a really intelligent, fun kid to be around. He’s been out here at practices, competing. He’s got a really live arm.”