Dylan Raiola is the 5-star QB that Kirby Smart can't move on from ... right?
Kirby Smart did it again.
Another year, another 5-star quarterback recruit. The latest in the growing line of 5-star quarterback recruits to pledge to Georgia was Dylan Raiola, AKA the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2024 class. The son of longtime NFL offensive lineman Dominic Raiola picked Georgia instead of his dad’s alma mater, Nebraska, and USC, where Lincoln Riley’s Heisman Trophy factory of quarterbacks is already up and running after relocating from Norman.
It’s remarkable, really. No, not that Smart continues to bring in talent at an elite level on the heels of becoming the first team to repeat as national champs in the Playoff era.
It’s remarkable that the 5-star quarterback is about the only thing that has yet to blossom in Athens.
(Remember that Jake Fromm just missed out on being a 5-star recruit when he signed in 2017.)
Between Jacob Eason, Justin Fields, JT Daniels and Brock Vandagriff, Smart started a former 5-star quarterback just 20 times, 12 of which came in from Eason in Smart’s first season back in 2016. Eason, Fields and Daniels all left Georgia at the end of Year 2 for another Power 5 program. Go figure that Vandagriff, who has yet to start a game and could still be waiting behind Carson Beck, has actually been in Athens longer than all 3 of his 5-star predecessors.
Weird, yes. If you’re not winning national championships, that’s a major demerit. When you are, well, what does it really matter? Also, what does it matter if Smart is still roping in quarterback talent like Raiola in what’ll be his 9th recruiting class?
Railoa’s commitment might’ve made some of those “this is why Arch Manning would never go to Georgia” claims fall on deaf ears. If you include Daniels, Raiola will become the 5th 5-star quarterback that Smart has signed in his 9 classes. In other words, it’s still more likely than not that Smart will sign a 5-start quarterback in a given year. Even Nick Saban has only signed 5 5-star quarterbacks at Alabama — his 6th could be 2024 pledge Julian Sayin, who has been a 5-star but just slipped to 4-star status.
Maybe Raiola was impacted by the offensive juggernaut Georgia became in 2022. The Dawgs put together their first top-40 passing offense since Aaron Murray was in Athens.
You could argue that for the first time since Smart took over, Georgia had a pitch to an elite quarterback recruit that was more than “look at all the talent you’ll get to play with and the championships you’ll compete for.”
Don’t get it twisted. That’s still a great pitch. But Smart’s current pitch is pretty darn hard to poke holes in. Raiola can help that … or he could continue that bizarre trend of 5-star QB departures. The guy is on his third high school and his second college commitment, after all.
But Monday’s commitment from the nation’s top recruit wasn’t about that. It was about making the college football masses collectively roll their eyes at what Smart is doing. That crowd can’t even cling to some weird hope that the program gets put on probation and it all comes crumbling down. Smart and other elite recruiters can thank the muddied waters of NIL for that.
You could make the case that Smart had a leg up on the field for all of his other 5-star quarterbacks. Eason was a Mark Richt era recruit that Smart had to keep committed in that first class, Fields and Vandagriff both flipped their commitments back to in-state Georgia while Daniels had lost his job due to injuries at USC. But Raiola? Smart had to fend off the legacy school and Riley to pluck someone from across the country. Raiola stars for Pinnacle HS in Phoenix.
Even for Smart, that was big time.
One would think if there’s ever a chance for a 5-star quarterback to finally start and finish his career in Athens, it’s Raiola. That doesn’t mean he’s automatically ticketed to become the next Matthew Stafford as a prolific future No. 1 overall pick. Perhaps not having that quarterback in the class ahead of him will open the door for Raiola to actually be the expected starter as a sophomore. Alternatively, one of Georgia’s current quarterbacks could use their multiple years of eligibility left to delay his path and he could follow the likes of Eason, Fields and Daniels, all of whom bounced after 2 seasons.
Whatever the future holds, Raiola’s commitment was another loud reminder to the college football world.
The machine in Athens keeps plowing through the 2020s.
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Jake Fromm was drafted. Try google when you have no idea what you are talking about.
He’s an “expert”.
Exactly. Also, didn’t fields only stay in Athens for one year? Or am I mistaken?
Either way, I’m at the point of trying to out-think Kirby… lol
He kinda seems to know what he’s doing at this point. And I think he learned a lot in his first few years with the whole Eason, Fromm, Fields situation.
What should he have done differently with the Eason, Fromm, Fields situation? What was to be learned?
Folks who say he should have benched Fromm for Fields can never answer a simple question: WHEN should Smart have made that move?
Fromm led UGA to OT of the previous title game. In 2018, UGA entered the SECCG at 11-1, with a victory ensuring a playoff berth. UGA led the game until late in the 4th quarter.
Should Smart have benched Fromm, who was experienced and playing well, in favor of a true freshman, while Georgia was winning, Fromm was playing well, and had realistic aspirations of winning a national title?
2019 and 2020 Justin Fields was better than Jake Fromm. 2018 Fields was not. It’s a shame Fields didn’t stick around and try to win the starting job. But 2018 was not the time to make the change at QB.
Hey 98- I didn’t say he should have done anything different, just that he learned a lot. Frankly, I agree with you that Fromm was better that year than Fields.
What I was implying is more off the field, roster/ego management.
I wasn’t trying to pick on you, DSGB11. go dogs
He shouldn’t have done anything differently. Fromm was the QB that was winning games. Stats mean nothing in college football. The only thing that matters is record, and Fromm was killing it.
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Fromm went to the national championship game as a true freshman! Was robbed of a win!!! Beat Lincoln Riley to get there!LOL
Fromm was great at Georgia….
Fields was ran off by a FAKE RACISM DEAL. Started by Africa Buggs, family to Alabama DT Isaiah Buggs! She is a witch who sells love spells! Voodo is the family business!!!! Imagine what she might do for MONEY??? Wonder who would have had a motive to pay her to hurt Georgia???
Fromm had to replace ALL HIS RECEIVERS his last season!!!! Fromm was part of Georgia’s return to greatness!!!!!
JAKE FROMM WAS DRAFTED!!!!!!!!!!!!
JACOB EASON WAS DRAFTED AND THANKED GEORGIA’S STAFF!!!!!! GEORGIA WAS THANKED WAAAAAY MORE THAN WASHINGTON!!!!!!
JUSTIN FIELDS WANTED TO RETURN TO GEORGIA BUT HIS FATHER TOLD HIM TO STAY AT OSU!!!!!!!
JT Daniels got injured period!!!!!
STETSON BENNETT JUST WON 2 STRAIGHT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS AND PLAYED BETTER THAN BRYCE YOUNG IN SEVERAL WAYS THIS SEASON!!!!!
STETSON BENNETT GOT DRAFTED AS WELL!!!!!!!
PS. The Georgia QB situation has been great under Kirby Smart!!!! Recruits play the game and are smarter than BIASED WRITERS!!!!!!!!!! LOL
I HEAR ALABAMA IS THE TEAM TO BEAT AGAIN! LOL
I see the medication the doctor gave you is not working yet. Hearing voices is not a good thing
Yep, in the 5th round. Fromm regressed at his time at UGA and if the mindset wasn’t run as the day is long, he might have been developed at a much higher level and gone at least in the top 3 rounds.
Hey look…It’s the guy who said Georgia couldn’t get an elite QB.
I never said you couldn’t get them, you just can’t develop them. lol And you know that.
Gwhite, do you honestly realize how dumb you sound. UGA just won back to back national titles with a 5’10 walk-on QB that they developed into a 4th round draft pick. You think UGA can’t develop QBs? You are easily one of the dumbest commenters on here.
Just win, baby.
You know what we never hear anymore? “Richt 2.0”. Probably because Smart is going for Natty 3.0.
I don’t care if our QB is the #1 player in the country or a 2-star walk-on. Kirby can coach ’em up.
Definitely don’t hear “1980” anymore
Along with “Kirby Dumbs”, “less with more” …
At this point UGA is the supreme leaders of the SEC. It’s not close.
Ron, you’re being nice today. Is everything ok?
Nice? I’m calling it like I see it. Did I say something wrong in my statement?
well at the point where all you have are 5 star QB’s you will get credit for developing 5 star QB’s. But as the writer stated, who cares if youre winning nattys with walk-ons… Rich get richer.
No apologies for outrecruiting, outcoaching, outplaying competition.
UGA had a QB competition and Stetson won. There’s something to be said about a guy like Stetson working hard and beating out 5 stars on scholarship. It’s awesome to me.
When they were handing out stars the 5’10’’ kid got passed over
When it came time to go ballin, the 5’10’’ Dawg took over
I don’t believe most people appreciate the full meaning of your simple statement Ron. Being designated a 5-star recruit just means a kid has great potential. However, it’s up to the kid to develop himself and deliver on that great potential.
If a 5-star gets beat out in practice by a 2-star walk-on and the 2-star walk-on proceeds to lead the team to two NCs while the 5-star sits on the bench, or transfers out, don’t blame the coaches. They were working with and teaching BOTH kids, side-by-side. The 5-star should’ve beaten out the 2-star IF he was really that good.
The old saying about a horse can be changed here to, “Kirby can lead a five-star QB to Athens, but he can’t make him play better than a 2-star.”
Try, try again!
“I don’t believe most people appreciate the full meaning of your simple statement Ron. ”
Short and to the point.
Or those were QB’s that lost out to SB. Some 5 star QB’s are a bust or just aren’t developed.
Name some 5 star QBs that didn’t get drafted
Shea Patterson signed with Ole Miss as a 5-star QB out of IMG Academy in 2016 and wasn’t drafted. He’s playing in Canada now.
Dawgs2021 Eason and Fields left, than got developed, than got drafted. Nothing UGA did helped them get drafted. When was the last time you had an elite QB, have elite numbers go to the NFL? Even fewer that got drafted in the first three rounds. We’re shocked SB got in at round 4, cause he isn’t better than Fromm especially from an NFL scouting standpoint. No one says UGA can’t eventually develop a QB to be elite, we just haven’t seen it in ages.
Gwhite- “When was the last time you had an elite QB, have elite numbers go to the NFL?”
Mighty impressive. Heard he comes with some baggage though. High maintenance and all. It’ll be fun to see how he will react.
What f-ing baggage? You’re just making stuff up.
…he’s not throwing to Metchie or Williams.
Come up with another unfunny, overused, and idiotic statement. I feel so sorry for you.
High maintenance… been to 3 schools and 4 years and is the opposite of Bryce Young in character. Arrogant.
Elaborate. Making random blanket statements without backing it up with facts is called BULL $ HIT.
I’ve won as many national titles as a starting QB as Bryce Young did.
Another loser with character. Congrats.
I’ve won as many as Nick Chubb, Jake Fromm, Sony Mitchell.
Keep on coming!
“What f-ing baggage? You’re just making stuff up.”
Yes, she is.
He’s played for three high schools in four years. Unless dad has moved the family around, that implies loyalty issues.
He’s committed to two colleges so far. Unless UGA’s boosters offered him mucho dinero in an NIL deal that blew away OSU’s, that implies trustworthiness issues.
Gentlemen, this kid has a real shot at being the next Brenton Cox or Bear Alexander at UGA, because Smart has already demonstrated he won’t bend his team-first philosophy to accommodate any prima dona.
He feels like a guy that has to be the priority QB at his chosen school. If he isn’t starting in quick short order, he could bounce. This will all depend on UGA doing something they haven’t done in a long time. Develop a good pocket passer at UGA. Five star QB’s can be fickle and have a me factor. That is great if you have the staff to develop them at a high level. NO hero ball, just make the reads and deliver the ball to the, “WR’s”, and TE’s. Even during Monken’s time at UGA, only one WR drafted. Two out of those three seasons UGA suffered a post season loss to teams with more prolific passing. Great D only gets you so far. In those three years UGA has had elite defenses, even going back to 17. Since 17, with the exception of last season, a post season loss all for the same reason. They could not keep up with the foe’s scoring. As more teams with NIL get their hands on more blue chips, this is going to become more important. Faster offenses will prevent subbing and than you have a Bama TN 2022 game on your hands. It’s always better to win the game more than one way but with elite offense and the best D you can.
Yes, as in quite literally, baggage of clothing and personal items…
That is a stacked QB room. Gotta figure at least one the 3 guys already x-fer.
“(Sorry, Georgia. You don’t get to claim Eason and Fields.)”
What makes you think we want to?
Kirby doesn’t recruit a player based on what someone else says – ranks that player at. Kirby recruits players that he thinks he can develop into elite college players. Raiola will lose all five of those stars as soon as he hits the practice field at UGA. Then, it will be all about which player gives the team the best chance to win championships. Rankings be dam ned.
“Stetson Bennett IV also became the first Georgia QB since Murray to be selected in the NFL Draft”
Yes, but both in pitiful rounds. Fromm in the 5th and SB went in the 4th which is shocking. But you know, west coast teams and all.
So wait, the only reason Georgia and Smart aren’t given the death penalty is because of some muddied waters?? Really connor? How about – I don’t know – some proof of something wrong at Georgia, and not wink wink that we all know something must be going on.
What’s going on is the last two Nattys. What’s going on is Kirby is an elite recruiter…
OH, sure, he’s a great recruiter, he’s just not a good offensive developer and is 100% dependent on OC’s to do this. That isn’t TN’s issue. But Kirby has an issue with trying to interfere too much with OC’s trying to develop the passing game. He prefers to run the ball as much as he can. This won’t work when you have to develop WR’s and QB’s. You need to keep them in and develop the passing game in games you say you all, “call off the dogs”.
GWhite- If you could choose for Tennessee, who would you rather have as HC? Heupel or Smart?
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Fromm came in college ready and it showed. Fields did not. He was clearly the more talented QB, but he had a lot to catch up on. Worked out for everyone really. The arm talent in Athens right now is incredibly high and with the two QB’S coming in, we know that at least one will be moving on after this next season.
As far as developing QB’S – Stetson Bennett was a 2 start and he was drafted by one of the best offensive minds in the NFL, who said that Stetson was his guy in the QB draft.
Losing Monken is a big deal; but I think people are going to surprised and disappointed with just how good of a job that Bobo does.
Dawgs are here to stay folks, as long as Kirby is coaching at Georgia. Look for the development of QB’S (the last claim by the haters) to go away as this season unfolds.
When the talking points have started moving in the direction of, “We’ll, he’s got a long way to go to catch Saban”, the needle is about as far to the right as you can hope for.
There is nothing that Fields accomplished at Ohio State that Fromm dud nit accomplish at Ga.
Get off this qb thing with Kirby.
He knows what he is doing
3 high schools and 2 college commitments(so far). Kid definitely likes to put down roots.
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Out of the last two drafts UGA had 25 players drafted and outside of a two T’s and one QB, there have only been 3 offensive players drafted. In the last 4 drafts only one WR. Pickens. That isn’t sustainable going forward. UGA needs to show they can take an elite HS QB and develop him into a passing machine. Outside of doing this, good or better offensive teams will develop their D’s while maintaining top 5 offenses, especially with a good passing offense. I expect Bobo to throw the ball more but we’ll just have to see if Kirby can let him do his thing. Ffs stop the run heavy in the second half. Use that time in games to develop your QB, the back up and the WR’s. OSU wasn’t even a top ten passing offense and they got drubbed by Michigan. That game should remind that sure great D can win games but one missed FG and 40 plus points scored on you imo is a cry for the UGA offense to get back to elite passing. Like any great offense it can’t be base and run game is a must, but WR’s are where you’ll compete in high scoring back and forth games. TN and UGA are working from opposite ends. You can improve a D faster than you can become elite in offense and the passing game. An elite offense keeps you in the game. But play Ricola as much as possible. Riiiiicola! lol
A complimentary offense and defense wins championships. Georgia has that. Tennessee produces stats
Stats always catch up with schools. Happens every year. Eventually bad stats cause you to lose games. UGA is far from competitive throwing the ball in the top ten to fifteen passing offenses. This is what carries you in seasons that you lose a lot of production on both sides of the ball. UGA is not set up well for this. No real offensive system established. Just throw to TE’s and rely on your D and throw in a few RPO’s that turn into hero ball. From a schematic view, it’s ugly luck offensive football. Saw how it looked at UK? That is because it’s not an established system and expect Bobo to change it up. Monken wasn’t capable of developing a passer but maintained with an experienced game manager that could run. It took coming out of the rona for UGA to win titles..LOL Plus cupcake schedules. Right place and time, right schedule and good depth equals more lucky than good.
UGA’s style has netted back to back National Championships. I thought that was what teams were supposed to compete for. I guess we should put up huge numbers (excepting of course the only real Defense you faced LOL) and try to play ACC also rans inb meaningless bowls instead. Enjoy your Offense.
gwhite, maybe you haven’t noticed, passing machine offenses are good for putting up great numbers, but don’t win National Championships.
“good or better offensive teams will develop their D’s while maintaining top 5 offenses.” We will see if any can… Scoring AFAP is good for selling tickets, but it always has and always will continue to stress that teams defense.
You point to the OS game – yet it was the Georgia offense who scored more points than the passing machine OS offense.
Georgia will continue to strive for a 50/50 balance of run-pass, while playing the best defense in CFB. That is what wins National Championships. That formula won’t change as long as Kirby is the HC.
Once again you have opinions and not facts. I will correct them for you… Last two drafts offensively Georgia players drafted: 3 Tackles, 1 QB, 1 WR, 3 RB, 1 Guard, 2 TE. Not sure about your math.
Hooker averaged 285 yds per game and 9.5 yds per attempt. Bennett averaged 275 yds per game and 9.1 yds per attempt. Not much difference. For you to be claiming Georgia should get back to elite passing.
Also “an elite offense keeps you in the game,” It surely didn’t when your QB has 1 TD in 8 quarters against an elite defense. Or if your defense gives up 63 points in a game!
The Fromm – Fields situation was on Fields, not Kirby.
Fields got beat out by a better QB in Fromm – end of story. Fields was then poached – bought by Ohio ST, who didn’t have a legitimate QB on the roster – in the wake of Urban Meyer’s exit.
The Fields mania seems to be coming from some perceived future evaluation. Fields didn’t exactly set the world on fire for OS. Fromm accomplished more at Georgia than Fields ever did at OS.
What are you talking about with Fields and Fromm? Dude…you’re hilarious. Fromm wasn’t even close to Fields.
2019 FROMM: 234 of 385 (60.8%) 2860 yards and 24 TD
2019 FIELDS: 238 of 354 (67.2%) 3273 yards and 41 TD
Ahhhh stats and how they make sense. You can lead them to water RealUSC but you can’t make them drink.
He’s talking career and you’re talking one year. There is a difference.