"There's a culture and a standard that I was attracted to," Raiola told ESPN. "The more time that went by, the stronger I felt about Georgia and ultimately led to this decision."
Athens,GA is Home!!! I'm a Dawg!! Go Dawgs📍🐶 pic.twitter.com/VWN9Vf55sy— Dylan Raiola (@RaiolaDylan) May 15, 2023
This is the second commitment for Raiola, who originally announced for Ohio State in May 2022 over his father's alma mater, Nebraska, as well as Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Notre Dame, Oregon and USC, among others. At the time, it was an important get for Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and his staff, but Raiola decommitted from the Buckeyes on Dec. 17, 2022.
When Raiola decommitted, his father told ESPN that Dylan wouldn't make an announcement any time soon and that he wanted to take his time with the next decision. He took visits to Nebraska, USC and Georgia. The Trojans made some headway once he took a visit, but Georgia had always been in the picture.
"I learned a lot from my first experience. This time around, I took my time and never felt rushed or pressured to commit," Raiola said. "I was able to have conversations with my family, my pastors and mentors. The stability allowed me to be still, be patient and allow God to guide me.
"I appreciate every coach that has invested in getting to know me and my family."
As a junior, Raiola threw for 2,435 yards, 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He threw for 3,341 yards, 32 touchdowns and 5 interceptions during his sophomore campaign and has 11 rushing touchdowns over the past two years.
Ohio State was able to fill his spot with ESPN 300 quarterback Air Noland, the No. 47 recruit overall, but neither Nebraska nor USC has added a quarterback in its 2024 class. The Trojans signed the No. 1 quarterback in the 2023 cycle in Malachi Nelson, so it isn't vital that Lincoln Riley and his staff add a quarterback in 2024 unless it's someone of Raiola's caliber.
Nebraska added Georgia Tech quarterback transfer Jeff Sims this past offseason but likely will still look to add another signal-caller in this cycle, whether it's a high school prospect or a transfer at the end of the season.
For Georgia, the Dawgs did not sign a quarterback in the 2023 cycle, but did add ESPN 300 recruit Gunner Stockton in 2022. As of now, Stockton is on the roster with Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff, but Beck will be a senior once Raiola gets on campus and Beck and Vandagriff will be juniors.
"Georgia's program isn't based off of one person or one position group," Raiola said. "I'm committed to growing and developing as a person and a student-athlete. I'm excited to work with Coach [Mike] Bobo and Coach [Montgomery] VanGorder.
"It's pretty unique how this will come full circle as Coach Bobo developed Uncle Matthew [Stafford] during his time at Georgia."
Adding a prospect such as Raiola was crucial for the future success of the offense at Georgia, and he won't have to come in and start right away. But given his talent, he will push the other three quarterbacks and try to see the field as early as possible.
With his announcement, Georgia now has nine ESPN 300 commitments, including two five-stars in Raiola and corner Ellis Robinson IV. Before Raiola's announcement, the Dawgs held the No. 1-ranked class overall, and they have only pushed their lead over Ohio State and Michigan.
"The substance behind [Georgia's] success is the biggest factor," Raiola said. "Coach [Kirby] Smart has built this program to last, and I'm excited and honored to be a part of it. Whether it's in the classroom, on the field or in the weight room, I know I'll be pushed to be my best every day."