Ohio State is no stranger to hauling in blue-chip recruits from around the country. Losing them is another story. However, five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, the No. 1 player in the 2024 class, decommitted from Ohio State Saturday. Raiola had been committed to the Buckeyes since May but has had a change of heart.
“We have a lot of respect for Coach [Ryan] Day and the Ohio State program,” said Dylan’s father, Donovan Raiola, a former NFL offensive lineman and current Nebraska offensive line coach. “Everything is back on the table. His process is almost like it’s restarting. It’s not close off to anybody.”
Raiola chose Ohio State over schools like Georgia, USC, Oregon and Nebraska, so it’s safe to assume those schools will once again be in the running. As noted above, Raiola’s father is the offensive line coach at Nebraska on Matt Rhule’s staff. That should give the Cornhuskers an edge on the competition, though Raiola was already on Nebraska’s staff when Dylan committed to Ohio State. Of course, it’s also possible that the uncertain status around Scott Frost at the time — and, by extension, Donovan Raiola — impacted Dylan’s initial choice.
Now that Matt Rhule has retained Donovan Raiola, the math might’ve changed.
Whatever the case, there won’t be many schools not trying to land Raiola, who has been a prolific performer at the high school level and is projected by 247Sports to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft one day. Here’s the scouting report from 247Sports national analyst Chris Singletary:
Looks the part already from a physical standpoint. Two-sport athlete who also plays baseball and has a nice athletic profile. Well-proportioned build and frame. Sturdy lower body that generates power and velocity on throws. Displays encouraging athleticism that should continue to improve as he develops throughout his career.
Good stature in the pocket with a smooth easy release. Raiola has above average mobility and is able to buy time while locating his receivers and going through progressions smoothly. Flashes plus arm strength to make the throws from a variety of arm angles with velocity or touch as required. Puts zip on passes even when on the move out of the pocket.
Willing to stand in the pocket and deliver passes while under pressure. Keeps eyes downfield as the pocket closes. Doesn’t get caught looking at the rush. Features good touch on his deep passes enabling receivers to run underneath to make the catch. Displays good pocket presence and awareness. Capable of tucking the ball to run if needed to gain chunk yardage.
A young player who has very few holes in his game even with two more years of high school left. Ahead of the curve mechanically and possesses the arm strength that puts him in elite company. The more he plays and has reps his decision making and feel will only get faster and become second nature. Should become a Power Five starter for multiple years and a potential all-conference selection with NFL Draft early-round upside.
Raiola’s docommitment comes after the Buckeyes picked up another five-star prospect — wide receiver Jeremiah Smith — who became the team’s third 2024 commitment this past week.