Ryan Day has done it again.
One of the most proven coaches at developing quarterbacks in college football, Day has convinced another highly billed signal-caller to join the Buckeyes, as Dylan Raiola gave his verbal commitment to play for Ohio State on Monday.
While Ohio State extended an offer to Raiola back in October, the Buckeyes moved into the driver’s seat to land the eighth-best prospect in the 2024 class when he and his family made their second visit to Columbus during the first weekend of April. He opted to commit to Ohio State on his birthday, almost a month after he returned to OSU for the Buckeyes’ spring game just two weeks after his first spring visit.
Best damn fans in the land!! https://t.co/nGM1Up4YSO— Dylan Raiola (@RaiolaDylan) April 17, 2022
Now that he has given his pledge to the Buckeyes, he immediately becomes a top candidate to become one of Ohio State’s next star quarterbacks.
On The Field
It’s no secret football runs in Raiola’s blood. His father, Dominic, was an All-American center for Nebraska from 1998 to 2000, then carved out a 14-year NFL career with the Detroit Lions. Having that institutional knowledge from his family likely arms Raiola with more knowledge of the game than your typical teenager.
In his sophomore year, Raiola played for Burleson High School (Burleson, Texas) before eventually transferring to Chandler High School (Chandler, Arizona) in the offseason. Raiola emerged as one of the top prospects in the country last season when he completing 220 of 336 passes for 3,243 yards and 32 touchdowns.
While he’s not what you’d describe as a burner, Raiola was useful at times in the ground game, having 53 carries for 97 yards and scoring nine rushing touchdowns in large part because of his big frame at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds.
Raiola played in a spread offense at Burleson, though he sometimes lined up under center. The offense made sure to take advantage of its quarterback's rocket of an arm. Raiola went deep early and often for Burleson, making a plethora of impressive throws on tape. Regardless of whether the vertical attacks come from a four-wide set or if they came out of play action on a two-receiver play, Raiola shows he can hit his receivers in stride and make it look easy to air out a football.
Raiola’s pocket presence is smooth and calming, as he has an acute sense of pressure and rarely makes frantic or ill-advised throws. There doesn’t appear to be a throw Raiola is incapable of making with his quick release, as he can hit receivers on throws across his body or while under pressure on the run. When he does face pressure, Raiola is impressive with his ability to still keep his eyes downfield and complete a throw in stride.
In The Class
Well, there’s not much of a class right now considering Raiola is the first commitment in the 2024 cycle, but it’s a hell of a start.
Ohio State was already in great shape with top 2024 wide receiver targets Jeremiah Smith and Joshisa Trader, but Raiola’s commitment can only help push that tandem toward Ohio State. Heck, it wouldn’t be surprising if it gave a nudge to top 2023 wideout targets Carnell Tate or Brandon Inniss either, knowing the quarterback room will be stocked with elite talent throughout their collegiate careers.
Raiola has a large personality, and it won’t surprising in the least if he becomes a lead peer recruiter like C.J. Hicks was for OSU’s 2022 class and Luke Montgomery has become for the 2023 cycle.
Not that there’s much downside for any school landing an elite quarterback, but if there is one, Raiola’s commtiment is going to be make it all the more difficult for Ohio State to land a premier quarterback in the 2023 cycle.
Knowing Kyle McCord and Devin Brown will already be in the quarterback room next year and that one of the best quarterbacks in the nation is arriving a year later would be a tough sell for any top-tier 2023 quarterback, but Day may be comfortable bringing in a quarterback from the transfer portal next year rather than the high school ranks.
Although Raiola has yet to play a down for Chandler High School, he becomes the second player from that high school to commit to the Buckeyes in a three-year span, as freshman wide receiver Kyion Grayes played his prep ball there. Raiola has spoken with Grayes about what Ohio State offers, and Grayes helped the Buckeyes recruit the talented quarterback.
Raiola joins a list of recent Ohio State commits from Arizona that includes Grayes and Brown — counting Brown here because he played for three years in Arizona before finishing his senior year in Utah — in 2022, Denzel Burke in 2021 and Lathan Ransom and Jack Miller in 2020.
With Raiola’s commitment, Ohio State is likely done with quarterback recruiting for the 2024 class. OSU typically likes to take one quarterback per recruiting class, and although fellow 2024 five-star Jadyn Davis visited Ohio State multiple times and had serious interest in the Buckeyes, he’s unlikely to join the same class as Raiola. Day and Ohio State would certainly have to consider it if Davis still wanted in, but it’s much more likely he’ll head elsewhere now that Raiola is a Buckeye.