Dylan Raiola: How Georgia football continues to ‘deliver’ in the recruiting of the nation’s No. 1 prospect
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 5-star QB Dylan Raiola. The rising Pinnacle High School senior (Phoenix, Ariz.) ranks as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2024 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
Dominic Raiola started for 14 seasons in the NFL for the Detroit Lions. He was an All-American at Nebraska.
His son, Dylan, is the No. 1 prospect for 2024 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. That, by default, makes the strong-armed Raiola the nation’s top QB, too.
When the Raiolas took their sixth trip to check out Georgia last weekend, he wasn’t surprised by what he saw.
The players. The coaches. The support staff. The vibe. That’s why the Raiolas have already scheduled an official visit with the ‘Dawgs for the first weekend in June.
Raiola used the phrases “continues to deliver” and “always delivers” when discussing those trips to check out the back-to-back national champions.
“It is awesome to see,” Dominic Raiola said. “I will tell you what, the same thing that makes that place great is the same thing they don’t talk about. They don’t talk about how great they are. They practice like they are starving.”
“Every single coach is coaching like he’s starving. Like these aren’t the back-to-back champs. It is fun to see.”
When he watched the ‘Dawgs on Saturday, the former All-American center spent that time with his kind. He hung out with Stacy Searels and the Georgia offensive line.
When he scanned the field, he did find Dylan embedded near the quarterbacks and the offense. Raiola was sprinting from drill to drill. His hair was on fire like he was with the team.
“I saw him running,” his father said. “He didn’t have a ball in his hand. I know that. .. I try to stay out of it. I go hang with coach Searels. I want to see those guys. I try to go take it all in at practice.”
The youngest Raiola QB protege, Dayton, was also hanging out with the QBs, too. Dayton is a talented class of 2026 QB prospect in his own right.
The family did gather their intel on what Mike Bobo’s Georgia offense will look like.
“There is a lot of carryover,” Dominic Raiola said. “It is all carryover with a few wrinkles from Coach Bobo, but there is a lot of carryover from Coach [Todd] Monken. Dylan still retained a lot of that stuff from Monk.”
The same vibe is there.
“There is always a good vibe in that building and it is very business-like,” Dominic Raiola said. “Kirby says when you walk in that building everything is geared towards making you a better man and winning. That is real. Because every time we have been there they have come through and showed us that.”
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The many connections between Dylan Raiola and Georgia football
Raiola’s uncle, Donovan, is the offensive line coach at Nebraska. That’s where the Raiolas will be this weekend on another visit. Dominic is a legend in Lincoln and in Detroit for what he did on Sundays.
Then there is USC and the quarterback guru Lincoln Riley. His offense is built to spotlight future Heisman winners and NFL first-rounders. The other side of the ball isn’t so glowing for the Trojans, but that part of Riley’s resume cannot be debated.
Yet the ‘Dawgs also have a lot of ties here. A whole lot.
They were the first school to offer him. The first one to believe in him. They were the first school he seriously considered attending coming up as a young prospect.
There’s “Uncle Matthew” who has an instant connection with the Raiola family. That would be one of Georgia’s all-time great QBs in Matthew Stafford. The offensive coordinator at Georgia, Mike Bobo, still has it on his resume that he’s developed a 5-star QB in Athens into the No. 1 overall NFL pick.
Dan Orlovsky, another family QB friend from the NFL Lions, now works for ESPN. He shouted out Dylan on a national stage during the 2021 Georgia-Georgia Tech game. He described a connection between the 5-star prospect and the Bulldogs on that broadcast.
There is former Georgia fullback Shaun Chapas. He is the Senior Director of Major Gifts in Development for the University of Georgia Athletic Association. Chapas played with Raiola and Stafford in Detriot. He was also a part of that Stafford wedding party.
There is still a heartfelt connection to Chandler LeCroy. The late Georgia staffer was always their point of contact on those trips to Athens. Raiola still has a tribute to LeCroy atop the bio on his Twitter page.
The visits? They are golden. Every time. The Raiola family has used the term “gold standard” to describe what they see in Athens.
“There’s not much more we need to see,” Dominic Raiola said. “It is almost like family. We feel like we know them. They know us. They know what we are all about. It is just a matter of that’s why [Georgia] is in it. That’s why they are in it. We went to see them because they are in it. Not because we wanted to go see the diner that they just finished.”
“We didn’t want to go stay at the Spring Hill Suites in Athens again. We went because Georgia is in it and we wanted to go see if our son is going to call this place home. With any place we go now, they are in it. I don’t think we are going off to commit tomorrow but we don’t want to find out a year from now if a place is really the place for us.”
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Dylan Raiola: The puzzles pieces of the latest Georgia football visit
The Mike Bobo piece was big. Dylan needed to see the new offense. The new spices that the restored offensive coordinator will now add to the championship Georgia gumbo.
Yet Raiola was reluctant to call any one piece bigger than the others. There’s the piece with receivers coach Bryan McClendon. The way the backs work under longtime assistant Dell McGee.
There’s an even more important connection to Georgia offensive analyst Montgomery “Gummy” Van Gorder to pay attention to here.
“I don’t like to say it is just one piece,” he said. “It is just getting together and seeing all the moving parts really. It is not just one moving part, it is all the moving parts. You want to see how ‘BMac” coaches his receivers. How coach McGee coaches the running backs. How Montgomery Van Gorder is now in the new role of Buster Faulkner. We had a great relationship with Buster, but we also have a great relationship with ‘Gummy’
“Then we also have the tie of Coach Bobo and Matthew Stafford. With him being in his wedding and Dylan being able to access Matthew or ‘Uncle Matthew’ at any time. There’s just a lot of six degrees of separation if you will, and it is a lot of ties bringing us together. But you also want to be there. See it. Touch it. Feel it. Be on campus and just take it all in at this point. You’re not taking it all in just because we want a vacation. You take it all in because, as I said earlier, can you see yourself there?”
“Can you see yourself practicing there? Can you see yourself being in the quarterback room? Walking through these hallways? Being coached by coach [Scott] Sinclair in the weight room. Which is one of the best weight rooms I have ever been in. Can you see yourself doing all of these things?”
There is also a part of this Raiola story that Percy The Barber will appreciate.
This is How We Do it: The faith component with Dylan Raiola and Georgia
We feel confident that many DawgNation readers will know the words to “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.
(Feel free to throw your hands in the air. Like a Friday night and you feel alright.)
Let’s flash to the first DawgNation profile on Dylan Raiola. He said he plays with the thought of Jesus Christ aon his mind. He tries to live that way.
There will be a strong faith component connected to Raiola’s decision to sign with any school. And maybe even a local connection to the state of Georgia and the Southeast.
“Dylan became close with Montell Jordan,” Dominic Raiola said. “Remember the Montell Jordan guy? The ‘This is How We Do It’ guy? The artist. The hip-hop artist. We met him at Impact Church, our church out here in Arizona, and we got to meet him. Hang out with him. Texted him. We knew that he is located in Georgia.”
“Dylan knew that if he does end up at Georgia, that would be a big piece of it. That is finding a community. You would obviously find your community in the building that you are around all the time. But you would also find the community and people he can lean on.”
Raiola said Jordan has a “cool” marriage retreat in Georgia. He’d love to attend that with his wife Yvonne Raiola. His Mom, the former water polo player, is who everyone points to regarding the big arms their boys both have.
“He’s a good dude, man,” Dominic Raiola said of Jordan. “That’s our days, right? His song was like our days in high school. It has been great.”
There is another pastor in the Southeast to connect to. That would be Derwin L. Gray. The former NFL player leads Transformation Church in Charlotte.
“We drove up to Charlotte and his church, Transformation Church, on Sunday morning,” Dominic Raiola said. “So just knowing that there are people close by. We wouldn’t be able to just drive out to [Athens] overnight if he was out there.”
That is all part of the extended test drive with the ‘Dawgs. The location and a potential faith community will also be factored in.
“It is everything,” Dominic Raiola said. “It is meeting the team chaplain. It is meeting the athletic director at Georgia. We got to talk to him. We got to talk to Shaun Chapas. I talked to him. He’s an assistant athletic director. We were all in Stafford’s wedding together.”
“There’s a lot of ties, but there are pastors that are close to our family that are out there.”
The faith aspect is a major puzzle piece. The family’s faith in God will be at the center of it. The Raiolas are also trying to sell one home as they acclimate into another near his new home at Pinnacle High in Arizona.
“In God’s timing all of it will happen,” his father said. “I’m excited for him to see where this thing goes in the next couple of months. It is an exciting time in our house and it is a busy time, but it is an exciting time. We are all excited.”
Raiola pointed out ties at Dylan’s other top schools, too.
“The same can be said at all the other places, too,” he said. “USC is a six-hour drive from us. There is a good community there. Nebraska, obviously, is family. But getting back to Georgia, yes, there are pastoral ties to our family.”
Nebraska is this weekend.
“There’s nothing bigger than family and there’s family at Nebraska,” Dominic Raiola said. “It is just going to come down to where he can see himself thriving and growing as a man. Georgia is right there. It is hard, man. I don’t envy his decision. He’s got great choices, but he has a good head on his shoulders, too.”
“We trust he’s going to make the right decision. We don’t listen to the noise that Georgia can’t develop 5-star quarterbacks. Or when was the last quarterback to come out of Georgia? It could just as well be ‘why can’t you be the next one?’ and why are we not talking about Stetson Bennett who just won two national titles?”
“We’re dismissing that? We’re dismissing that Jake Fromm had every opportunity to be great and got drafted?”
There’s so much that can go into it. Joe Burrow went from Ohio State to LSU. Justin Fields went from Georgia to Ohio State.
“I think you got to block out the noise and really at the end of the day it is where you really want to compete,” Dominic Raiola said. “Where do you want to grow as a man? Where do you see the next three to five years of your life being? You don’t go into this thing saying we are going to enter the transfer portal.”
Matt Rhule. Lincoln Riley. Kirby Smart. Raiola said he’d all want to go play for those guys and be around them. That’s if he were in his son’s shoes.
“You never want to go into something saying if it doesn’t work out then you will just transfer out of there,” Dominic Raiola said. “We’ve transferred high schools, but there are also reasons behind those. He lives in our house. So if we move to that area, that’s where he’s going to go. He’s coming with us.”
“There are the next-level decisions that he is going to have to make. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
The entire family will be with Dylan for his official visit in June. That will include his parents, his younger brother and his older sister Taylor. She is a rising senior volleyball player at TCU.
There are no immediate visit plans in the next two months after this weekend’s visit to Lincoln.
“Georgia continues to deliver,” Dominic Raiola said. “That’s where I can leave it. Yep, that’s it.”
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