QB Raiola Flips to Nebraska as Early Prep Signing Window Nears

Quarterback Dylan Raiola throws during a scrimmage in Chandler, AZ.
Quarterback Dylan Raiola throws during a scrimmage in Chandler, AZ.

With the early, three-day high school signing period starting Wednesday (Dec. 20), there was a flurry of activity with visits and flips the last few days.

Most noteworthy was five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola’s move to Nebraska after seven months with Georgia, and Ohio State before that.

Also, with the commit of safety Xavier Filsaime Monday, Texas is doing pretty flipping good, with three top converts in the last couple of months. More on the Longhorns later.

See top uncommitted players, more notes on recruits

Raiola, from Buford High (Ga.), is a 6-3, 220-pound pocket passer whose mannerisms are likened to those of Andrew Luck's. Raiola was rated No. 1 overall in August by Hall of Football/NFLDraftScout.com and finished No. 6 overall.

See who leapfrogged Raiola to be No. 1 QB recruit for 2024

His move to Nebraska is not that shocking after a visit there last weekend and the fact that his father, Dominic, was a star Nebraska offensive lineman, and his uncle is the offensive line coach. But there has been drama aplenty with the Huskers' quarterback room recently.

See Hall of Football/NFLDraftScout.com Top 386

Rhule's reputation at stake

The ripple effect of his decision could be felt for several years, or at least as long as Raiola stays at Nebraska. Raiola's commitment comes when the Husker QB room was looking like a daily soap opera. First it was former Ohio State Buckeye five-star QB Kyle McCord visiting Nebraska a week ago to see if NU might be a good fit. But the day McCord arrived on campus, word got out that Dylan was going to make another official visit to Nebraska. 

When Husker three-to-four-star 2024 QB commit Danny Kaelin from Bellevue West High (NE) heard the news last week, he made plans to visit Michigan State to see if the Spartans were interested in his services.

Then 2023 Husker QB starter, Jeff Sims, entered the transfer portal for a new destination.

With Sims out of the QB picture at Nebraska and Kyle McCord moving on, it looked as if Kaelin might also go elsewhere. If Raiola had decided to stay with Georgia, the Huskers might have made one of the worst blunders in college football recruiting.

With his reputation suddenly on the line, Huskers head coach Matt Rhule is counting on Raiola's commitment.

His coach at Buford High School called Raiola a "student of the game," who always had his notebook from meetings with him and would regularly come up to the school on Sundays to sit with the coaches as they prepared for an upcoming opponent.

Two of Raiola’s top traits are arm talent, always good for a quarterback, and an even keel, also a must-have for the stressful life of a qb.

He is not a flashy runner but has enough movement to keep plays alive while he cocks his high-caliber arm.

An interesting fact is that Raiola played for four different high schools and, again, this is his third different college commitment. On the one hand, that amount of movement could raise concerns, and on the other it shows his commitment, as it were, to succeed.

Raiola is the highest-ranked commit for Nebraska in years. Rhule saw what the Nebraska quarterback room looked like this season and knew he needed to load up.

Nebraska used three quarterbacks during the season. Heinrich Haarberg and Chubba Purdy are still on the roster.

Most important, this gives Rhule a merit badge in recruiting. Yes, there are family ties to Nebraska, but that wasn't enough to get Raiola to commit the first time around, when he chose Ohio State and then Georgia.

Georgia on our mind

Recruiting against Georgia is difficult no matter who the player is, and Rhule didn't give up on Raiola. Getting a high-profile flip like this will help on the field, but it also could help on the trail by enticing other prospects. Quarterbacks can often help attract other recruits, especially receivers and running backs. Nebraska can now build off of the momentum of landing Raiola. This could be a monster win for the future of the Nebraska roster.

We will see if this impact Georgia, and by how much.

Obviously losing a five-star quarterback isn’t a good thing. Georgia coach Kirby Smart doesn't lose many recruiting battles, but it is the second time in two years the Dawgs invested time, energy and resources on a big name quarterback and lost. That other name is Manning, as in Arch, now the heir apparent to Quinn Ewers at Texas. He never committed to Georgia, but the Dawgs battled for him.

With the just-announced return of starting quarterback Carson Beck, Georgia should be fine. Beck was one of the most efficient and effective passers in FBS in his first season as a starter, throwing for 3,738 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. He nearly led the two-time defending national champions back to the College Football Playoff, but the Bulldogs lost to Alabama 27-24 in the SEC Championship Game and fell out of the top four.

Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas...

Safety Xavier Filsaime, rated No. 28 overall and No. 2 at safety, flipped his commitment from Florida to Texas, per his father’s announcement Monday.

He had been committed to Florida since April.

Filsaime, 5-11 1/2, 180 from McKinney, Texas, will be signing with the Longhorns on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. Filsaime recently visited Texas and rumors of the flip were rampant.

This is a big addition for coach Steve Sarkasian.

Failsaime is the third player in to HOFootball top 30 to pick or flip to Texas since Oct. 25, when St. Louis University (St. Louis, Mo.) wide receiver Ryan Wingo (HOF No. 20 overall, No. 6 position) committed.

Filsaime will team with Connally High School (Waco, TX) cornerback Kobe Black who decided on Texas Dec. 13. Black is No. 31 overall and the No. 3 CB.


Five-star quarterback D.J. Lagway (No. 28 overall, No. 3 QB) from Willis, Texas, is still a Florida commit despite lots of attention from other schools, especially Auburn.

Likewise, defensive ends and Florid commits LJ McCray (No. 109 overall, 15 DL) and Amaris Williams (No. 98 overall, No. 12 DL) have been fielding offers, or not, and remain good to go for Florida.


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