Sentell’s Intel: How big of a splash will Dylan Raiola have on Georgia football recruiting?
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep covers the immediate aftermath of the commitment of 5-star QB Dylan Raiola. He ranks as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2024 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
Kirby Smart plays underwater 3-D chess. Not checkers.
There are folks that follow Georgia football recruiting closely that do appreciate that turn of the phrase. They use it frequently to describe how Smart leads the recruiting effort for the back-to-back national champions.
The new one going for the last 24 hours is that Dylan Raiola plays Dominoes. That’s the wordplay to describe the effect that the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect will now have on the 2024 Georgia recruiting class.
Raiola committed to the ‘Dawgs on Monday. Dominoes are an apt descritor. The momentum behind the Raiola decision will lead to more commitments.
But the feeling we get here is more like the Death Star’s tractor beam. Or better yet Jordan Davis with a cannonball off the high dive at Ramsay.
The 5-star QB made a big splash. It brings a lot of ripples. We project Raiola to be a rainmaker-level recruit for the 2024 class in Athens.
What kind of an impact? We’ll let the core commitments of the 2024 class weigh in on that topic.
“UGA class going to be crazy,” 5-star CB commitment Ellis Robinson IV said. “Best class in UGA history. Maybe college football history.”
“I’m really excited for Dylan and his family,” 4-star safety Peyton Woodyard said. “That is a huge commitment for Georgia and it was extremely hard to keep it a secret. Go ‘Dawgs!”
Woodyard said he had known for months.
Here are 10 elite national prospects we feel the Raiola commitment will immediately help the ‘Dawgs with.
|5-star WR Jeremiah Smith (OSU)||Opa Locka, Fla.||No. 2 (No. 1 WR)|
|5-star S KJ Bolden||Buford, Ga.||No. 9 (No. 1 S)|
|5-star DL Eddrick Houston||Buford, Ga.||No. 14 (No. 4 DL)|
|5-star WR Micah Hudson||Temple, Texas||No. 16 (No. 3 WR)|
|5-star WR Ryan Wingo||St. Louis, Mo.||No. 17 (No. 4 WR)|
|5-star RB Jordon Davison (2025)||Santa Ana, Calif.||No. 26 (No. 1 RB)|
|4-star OT Brandon Baker||Santa Ana, Calif.||No. 32 (No. 1 OT)|
|4-star TE Jaden Reddell||Peculiar, Mo.||No. 58 (No. 4 TE)|
|4-star WR Cam Coleman||Phenix City, Ala.||No. 59 (No. 11 WR)|
|4-star RB Nate Frazier||Santa Ana, Calif.||No. 94 (No. 8 RB)|
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Dylan Raiola Effect: Gauging the impact on the 2024 recruiting class
It was one of those decisions that everyone in the 2024 class noticed on Monday. Prospects at varying levels on Georgia’s 2024 board all had an opinion about it.
“I thought it was cool,” 5-star LB Sammy Brown said. “Georgia is a perfect fit for him and his talent. Will be great to see him succeed.”
What sort of effect will a QB that talented bring to the UGA program? Brown thought about what that might mean if he did go on to sign with the Bulldogs. He’s got a tough choice ahead with Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Tennessee on his mind.
“I think it brings competition,” Brown added. “Many say that the linebacker is the QB of the defense so I would potentially be competing with him every day.”
When a 5-star QB that’s ranked as the nation’s No. 1 prospect by any service commits, that’s going to make waves. Especially a recruit that is as plugged in as Raiola is.
Especially for those prized 5-star wideouts.
5-star WR Ryan Wingo said on Monday it was “pretty cool” to see Raiola choose the ‘Dawgs. Those two have been linked for some time. They visited Georgia and Nebraska together on back-to-back weekends in March.
“It doesn’t necessarily change anything,” Wingo said of the impact the Raiola decision had on his process, but he did add a clarifier.
“I know if I choose to go there I have a great QB,” he said.
Casey Poe is a priority target for the ‘Dawgs in the 2024 cycle for the offensive line. The nation’s No. 9 IOL prospect is set to be in Athens this weekend for his official visit.
“I think it is an awesome pickup for the ‘Dawgs,” Poe said on Monday. “He’s an awesome player and will create competition no matter who else is in the QB room.”
Statesboro’s Kam Mikell ranks as the nation’s No. 12 ATH and the No. 156 overall prospect for 2024. He will also be in Athens this weekend on his official visit.
“I’m happy he found his home,” Mikell said. “I honestly didn’t think he was going to go there.”
What did Mikell think Raiola now means to the future of the Georgia program?
“The offense will be real dynamic,” he said.
5-star Ohio State WR commitment Jeremiah Smith is the biggest target this news could potentially move the needle for. He was asked earlier this year about what Raiola to Georgia would mean for his decision.
“It could do a lot really,” Smith said back in March. “He’s the number one quarterback in the nation. Last year he was committed with me to Ohio State. He was recruiting me hard to Ohio State. He ended up decommitting after I got committed. Yeah, I mean Dylan Raiola is a great quarterback if he committed there it would be a great chance [he would consider Georgia] probably.”
Woodyard played with Smith on the same South Florida Express 7-on-7 team. He also asked Smith in March how much a Raiola commitment might help the ‘Dawgs.
“He asked how would I feel if Dylan Raiola committed,” Smith said back in March. “I told him it would be scary me and him. If Dylan Raiola committed, I know they are going to recruit me harder if he committed.”
That’s just a sample size of the buzz going around the country right now in the 2024 and 2025 classes. The Raiola decision clearly created a lot of it.
Raiola posted his commitment to Georgia on his Instagram and Twitter. He had cleared his Instagram after his December de-commitment from Ohio State. He wanted his new commitment to be the next post on his IG.
He posted his news first on Instagram.
As of this morning, it has drawn 24,864 likes. His follower count has soared. There are another 1,051 comments on that post. Current Georgia commits and players are at the top of that comment thread, including 5-star safety KJ Bolden.
“Wonder who next,” Bolden said on the comment thread.
Former Bulldog Kelee Ringo pointed to an Arizona-to-Georgia pipeline. Smith even commented with a pair of fire emojis.
Raiola posted his commitment to his Twitter after that.
That lone entry has already been viewed 2.2 million times as of Tuesday morning. That number was at 1.8 million late Monday night.
That post has drawn 12,900 likes, 1,040 replies and another 3,586 retweets.
It puts every imaginable recruiting pitch on the table for the ‘Dawgs in this cycle, including:
- Georgia’s not going anywhere. In fact, it might just be getting started.
- The nation’s top defense over the past three years now adds another elite QB talent for the offensive side.
- Georgia’s NFL development for the past three seasons has been the best in college football. The ‘Dawgs just added a prospect with a clear NFL first-round pick projection. UGA has yet to develop a first-round QB, WR and TE during Smart’s time in Athens. The only other positions the ‘Dawgs have yet to do so are at guard and center.
- That Brock Bowers fella is set to remedy that at tight end. The Raiola decision sets up the ‘Dawgs with a clear first-round talent at that position. He will also assist in the pull for future first-round WR types to follow him.
- There is the lure for the 2024 class to compete with and against a 5-star QB every day in practice for their college careers
- Raiola in Athens means that offensive skill players can line up on offense with the nation’s No. 1 prospect. Those tight boxes for RBs are going to be few and far between with his play-action game.
- The decision, along with the solid commitment from 2024 4-star QB Ryan Puglisi, solidifies the QB depth chart in Athens with elite passers through the 2026 season.
There is also the most common national perception around the Raiola news. It points to what the rest of college football must now be thinking with Raiola on his way to Georgia.
Rivals schools and fan bases must acknowledge what the ‘Dawgs accomplished the last two seasons with a former walk-on and a junior college scholarship transfer under center. What can this program now do with the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in the quarterback room? That’s a scary thought for SEC foes and a delightful thought for DawgNation to consider.
While we don’t agree with this line of thinking, that’s the knee-jerk national reaction regarding the Raiola news. If Raiola turns out to be anywhere near the competitor and winner that Bennett was in Athens, the ‘Dawgs really might have better days up ahead for this football program.
If Smart wins another national title with a 5-star QB at the helm throwing to 5-star receivers that go on to be first-round picks in the NFL, there wouldn’t be anything left on the table for rivals to negatively recruit against the Bulldogs.
Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2024 prospects like Daniel Calhoun, Dwight Phillips Jr., Dylan Raiola and Sacovie White.
(check on the recent reads on DawgNation.com)