Photo Credit: Greg Smith

2024 Quarterback Dylan Raiola Has ‘Special’ Weekend at Nebraska

October 05, 2021

It’s rare that a player from two recruiting cycles away is the most important player on campus for a visit weekend. That was the case for the Northwestern game. Early top-50 prospect for the 2024 recruiting class Dylan Raiola was in town. The legacy quarterback made it to Lincoln to check out his first Husker game in person.

“Nebraska, it was awesome. I got to show my whole family,” Raiola said. “My dad got to bring his mom back. She hasn’t been there since he left to the NFL. It was good to just bring the whole family along. Just their experience was great.”

While Raiola was in town, he got to spend a lot of time talking with the Husker coaches. One of his main objectives for the trip was continuing to build his relationship with them. He also got to hang out with several recruits and he was familiar with a handful of them coming into the weekend.

“I knew Tausili Akana,” Raiola said. “His sister and my sister played volleyball together when they’re younger. So we’ve been keeping in touch and he’s doing really good this season and recruiting. So, it was good, it’s good to catch up with him.”

The Huskers had a unique situation with the recruits in town over the weekend. Raiola and the 2023 4-star outside linebacker Akana knew each other. Akana and Lincoln Southeast 2023 outside linebacker Teitum Tuioti also knew each other. Then Tuioti connected that group with legacy 2023 outside linebacker Maverick Noonan and 2023 offensive line commit Gunnar Gottula. That all created a nice family feel for Raiola.

“That was special,” Raiola said. “It was good to be around other Polynesian people too. I don’t get to see those guys very often but I got to see them that day and it was great.”

Getting to be on the field pregame was also a highlight for the signal-caller. That’s when he saw first-hand how quickly the stadium fills up. He can tell that the fans take great pride in Nebraska and they believe in the Huskers. Hearing the crowd up close made an impression. So did meeting star quarterback Adrian Martinez.

“I talked to Adrian pregame on the field. Then after the game I got to talk to him,” Raiola said. “He’s a super great kid. He’s very humble and I have a lot of respect for him. Then he went out and played great. I couldn’t ask for a better experience to than to just watch him do his thing and have fun.”

Raiola thought it was a cool moment looking up and seeing his dad’s name in Memorial Stadium. His dad is Husker legend Dominic Raiola. He’s been a great source of knowledge for Dylan through his recruiting process.

“My dad says to just enjoy it,” Dylan said. “Always keep your head down and keep working. Celebrate the good but just know that you need to keep working until you get to where you want to be. It’s been great for my dad to help me out with that because he’s been through it. It’s a blessing for him to go through this process with me.”

Dominic gave a speech to the offensive line before the game against Northwestern. Dylan actually didn’t know that was happening at all. His dad told him about it at halftime of the game on Saturday. After his Nebraska visit, Dylan will go to one more game this season. He plans to go to Athens to see Georgia take on Kentucky.

He’s been to Oklahoma to see them play Nebraska, went to Texas versus Texas Tech and Clemson versus Georgia. As he has visited different schools this fall it’s been all about the relationships he’s forming.

“I’m a big family guy. I’m looking for a family feel of the coaches and the players,” Raiola said. “I’ve been asking the players what they think about the program. Family comes first and then I just want to keep building relationships with every coach I talk to. I don’t want to just cut that off and I want to just keep building relationships.”

There was a lot to take in for Dylan during his weekend in Nebraska. It sounds like the visit was a success. There were a handful of things that really stood out from Dylan’s time in Lincoln.

“I got to see the new facility that they are building in about a year and a half. It’s going to be done in June 2023,” Raiola said. “That was pretty sweet to see. I don’t think it’s been out to the public but it was sweet to see. Talking to Coach Frost was super cool because my dad and Coach Frost played together. It was good to talk to Coach Frost and just being around the players. Seeing how they do things down there was really awesome.”

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