Ohio State has suffered a crushing blow to its 2024 recruiting class.
The crown jewel of the cycle, five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, has decommitted from the Buckeyes, the Arizona prospect announced on Saturday.
BREAKING: Five-Star QB Dylan Raiola has Decommitted from Ohio State.— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) December 17, 2022
The 63 225 QB from Chandler, AZ had been Committed to the Buckeyes since May.
Raiola is ranked as the No. 1 Recruit in the 2024 class on all four major recruiting media services.https://t.co/aAsnJC06Yd pic.twitter.com/iPBaLSSIQ6
The decommitment had been in the works for several days, as Raiola removed much of his Ohio State affiliation from his social media profiles, including his commitment video.
Raiola is the first prospect from the 2024 class to decommit from the Buckeyes, though he's far from the only recruit in recent memory to opt for different pastures. In the 2023 class alone, the Buckeyes lost four prospects, including Ty Lockwood, Brock Glenn, Dijon Johnson and Mark Fletcher.
The commitment comes on the heels of 2023 four-star quarterback Lincoln Kienholz committing to Ohio State and his uncle, Donovan Raiola, being retained as an offensive line coach at Nebraska under Matt Rhule. It also ends a short-lived time Ohio State had both the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the 2024 class committed, as five-star wideout Jeremiah Smith committed to the Buckeyes on Wednesday.
Raiola, formerly one of the most vocal peer recruiters for OSU in its 2024 cycle, was quiet after Smith's commitment and did not post on social media after the Florida prospect gave his verbal to the Buckeyes. That was unusual considering his willingness to peer recruit for OSU in the past.
“I take a lot of pride in it,” Raiola said regarding peer recruiting in June. “It really falls on me who I want to bring in. So my goal is to bring in a top class in ’24 and maybe even ’23. I’m just trying to build both and trying to bring a championship back to Columbus.”
Raiola didn't reach the lofty goals he set for himself in the preseason of throwing for 40 touchdowns and 4,000 passing yards, but he still had a nice junior season for Chandler High School (Chandler, Arizona). This fall, Raiola completed 178 of 278 passes for 2,435 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran for two touchdowns.
Raiola committed to the Buckeyes on his birthday in May, citing the developmental track record of Ryan Day and Corey Dennis as a key reason why he chose OSU. The gunslinging quarterback with side-arm throwing ability visited the Buckeyes twice in the spring before his commitment, giving OSU all the momentum for the next month in his recruitment.
Following his commitment, Raiola traveled to Columbus in the summer for a recruiting camp for a day of work with Dennis and Day where he threw passes to 2023 Ohio State wide receiver commit Carnell Tate, who had also recently committed to OSU at the time.
“It's just very important to really come out here and get work in and never settle. I always want to get better, learn from the best in the world and Coach Day’s the best coach to do it,” Raiola said shortly after the camp. “I want to obviously get back out here and learn. I want to learn as much as I can before I get here, so I’m ready. I learned so much from (Day and Dennis). I was taking everything like a sponge.”
With Raiola's decommitment, the only other quarterback in the 2024 class with an OSU offer that is uncommitted is Jadyn Davis, who had significant interest in the Buckeyes until it became evident Raiola was the Buckeyes' preference. With a spot now open, perhaps the two sides re-engage, though that could prove difficult since OSU theoretically passed on Davis once.
Another option could be to try and flip five-star 2024 quarterback Colin Hurley from LSU. Hurley, originally a 2025 prospect before he reclassified to 2024, attended an OSU camp the same day as Raiola in June and earned an OSU offer. He committed to the Tigers on Nov. 4.
Now that Raiola is no longer in the fold, Ohio State will surely evaluate all of its potential quarterback options as it looks to replace the player who had been the linchpin of its 2024 class.