Dylan Raiola commits to Georgia: Positive and negative impacts for Dawgs

September 20, 2022; Chandler, Arizona; USA; Chandler quarterback Dylan Riaola poses for a portrait at Chandler High School. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Breen-Arizona RepublicHigh School Football Chandler Qb Dylan Raiola Dad
September 20, 2022; Chandler, Arizona; USA; Chandler quarterback Dylan Riaola poses for a portrait at Chandler High School. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Breen-Arizona RepublicHigh School Football Chandler Qb Dylan Raiola Dad /

The No. 1 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class, quarterback Dylan Raiola, has committed to Georgia. How will this impact the Bulldogs going forward?

Georgia’s 2024 recruiting class had grown a bit stagnant, but that all ended when the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation threw his commitment (as expected) to the Bulldogs.

The Phoenix, Arizona product is the second-highest-rated commit in Georgia football history, and he has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation, with every major program pitching him during his recruitment process.

You may have heard the expression “five-tool player” used in baseball. Well, Raiola brings that same type of versatility and loaded toolbag to the football field.

He’s an exceptional athlete who can beat you in any number of ways. He’s got size, strength, running ability, and mental acumen for the game. He can throw Favre-like bullets into traffic and he can also put incredible touch on the ball. He may be one of the most complete quarterbacks to come out of high school in decades.

While getting a verbal commit from the top recruit in the nation is never a bad thing, perspective is important, especially in this new climate of college football that’s been developed.

The verbal commitment from Dylan Raiola is a huge recruiting boost for Georgia

Anytime a recruit as visible as Raiola makes a verbal commitment, it draws a lot of eyes to a program and potentially causes some undecided commits to lean towards that same school. If you don’t think there are wide receivers out there who were on the fence and that will now choose Georgia, you need to think again.

It becomes a snowball. While some may think being a big fish in a little pond is great, most of the top recruits in the nation want to be associated with winning, with championships, and with lots of television (leading to NIL deals) exposure.

Even those players who may not necessarily catch a pass from Raiola will be looking Georgia’s way. A leader who can guide a team to victories and who has the on-field moxie this 6’3, 220-pound quarterback does will draw a crowd around him.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. Every big-time commitment comes at a price, and Georgia could pay a heavy one in this case.

Will the overcrowded Georgia quarterback room empty out with Dylan Raiola coming?

Georgia has an embarrassment of riches at quarterback right now. Any one of them — Carson Beck, Gunner Stockton, or Brock Vandagriff — could have potentially started in 2022. Instead, all three were forced to watch Stetson Bennett weave his magic for another season and a second straight national title.

There were already rumors of at least one of those quarterbacks leaving via the transfer portal this year, and the addition of a player like Raiola may cause more than one to look for greener pastures in the way of more playing time.

Raiola is going to compete as a freshman, but will doubtfully start. More than likely a redshirt will be in his future. But you never know. If he comes into the fall camp and starts dropping dimes and picking apart the Georgia defensive starters, some of the other quarterbacks may feel anxious enough to pack it in.

Having too many great players at one skill position generally isn’t a bad thing, but unlike wide receivers or running backs or tight ends, you can only have one quarterback at a time on the field taking snaps.

Well, unless you’re one of the remaining believers in the Wildcat system.

If and when Raiola comes to Athens and enrolls, it’s almost certain at least one of the current quarterbacks on the roster will leave. Such is the price of success, and Georgia has paid that price before.

Does a verbal commitment mean anything in today’s college football world?

Verbal commitments to a school are, and always have been, just that. A player verbally stating he intends to enroll at that school. Players flip and change their minds all the time, although that seems to happen less and less as the transfer portal becomes more widely used.

READ: Georgia 2024 Recruiting Tracker

While worrying about a commit flipping or simply re-opening his recruitment is always a concern, that doesn’t seem likely in the case of Dylan Raiola. From the start, he has taken a careful, metered approach to his recruitment and has been very guarded about what he’s had to say following official visits.

There are also recruits (and this isn’t to say Raiola is among them) who use the verbal commitment as a wedge to see which schools will up the ante in terms of NIL opportunities. Schools with the bigger collectives and connections have an almost limitless ceiling. Just look at how many players Texas A&M was able to sway with NIL money in 2022.

While there are potential negatives and concerns when a player of this caliber commits, it can never be looked at as a problem. Georgia’s success is going to continue to bring some of the top recruits in the nation to Athens to be a part of what’s now the best college football program in the country.