Ohio State – and the recruiting world as a whole – received a shock on Saturday when Chandler, Ariz., five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola (6-3, 220), the top-ranked passer in 2024, decommitted from the Buckeyes.
Raiola had quietly removed any references to Ohio State on social media over the past week, and while he has not spoken yet about why he decommitted from Ohio State, though there could be some connection between given that his uncle, Donovan Raiola, was recently retained at Nebraska under new head coach Matt Rhule as offensive line coach. According to a report from 247Sports, other schools expected to be involved include Georgia, Oregon and USC, in addition to the Cornhuskers.
And while we’re still a year away from the Early Signing Period for the crop of 2024 prospects, Ohio State now sits without a quarterback in the class. Raiola had been committed to the Buckeyes since May, resulting in Ohio State largely forgoing the recruitment of any other quarterbacks in the class. That will change now with the Buckeyes and head coach Ryan Day suddenly on the market.
Ohio State currently has offers out to four quarterbacks in 2024, with Raiola and Hialeah (Fla.) Mater Academy Charter four-star Adrian Posse (6-4, 205), who is committed to Auburn, on the list but unlikely to wind up in scarlet and gray. Two offers that could make some noise, however, are Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day School five-star Jadyn Davis (6-1, 190) and Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy four-star Colin Hurley (6-0, 213), who recently reclassified to 2024 and committed to LSU.
Hurley camped with Ohio State over the summer and was offered by the Buckeyes, but it was with the knowledge at the time that Hurley would be a member of the 2025 class. With his timeline moved up a year and him showing prior interest in Ohio State – as well as Florida, Florida State and Miami (Fla.), where he also camped – the Buckeyes will likely check back in on Hurley to see where things stand.
As for Davis, the five-star prospect was planning to visit for Ohio State’s spring game earlier this year, but that visit never came to fruition as it became clear the Buckeyes preferred Raiola in the class. Davis has since been viewed as a lean to Michigan with Penn State, North Carolina and Tennessee also involved, so it could take some heavy lifting for Ohio State to get back in the picture.
Ohio State will also continue evaluating quarterbacks in the class that have yet to be offered, and this is a process that could stretch deep into next year. And the Buckeyes – especially under Day – have shown no qualms about waiting for the right quarterback, as current starting quarterback and two-time Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud did not commit to Ohio State until Dec. 18, 2019, just a few months before he would arrive on campus.
Some notable quarterback prospects that are uncommitted and have not been offered include Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star Elijah Brown (6-2, 180), Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day School four-star Jake Merklinger (6-3, 195), Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy four-star Michael Van Buren (6-0, 185). The highest-ranked in-state quarterback in 2024 is Dayton Trotwood-Madison three-star Timothy Carpenter (6-4, 200).
And there’s also the matter of being able to build a class around a quarterback, which may not be possible now depending on how quickly Ohio State can replace Raiola. At the time, Raiola was the first commitment in Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class, and the Buckeyes had since gained commitments from an offensive tackle in New Palestine, Ind., four-star Ian Moore (6-5, 295) and wide receiver in Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep five-star Jeremiah Smith (6-3, 185).
“I take a lot of pride in having the guys around me,” Raiola said in June. “It really falls on me who I want to bring in, so my goal is to bring in the top class in 2024 and maybe even 2023. Get both and try to bring a championship back to Columbus.”
Raiola took his role seriously as a peer recruiter for Ohio State, a factor which the Buckeyes won’t have moving forward as they look to replace Raiola and continue filling out their class in 2024.