On Thursday, Dylan Raiola threw at TCU. On Friday, he traveled to Nebraska and took part in Friday Night Lights. On Saturday, he will be back in Texas to throw at Baylor.
It’s been that kind of June for one of the fastest rising 2024 prospects in America.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Raiola was offered by TCU on Thursday and he left Lincoln on Friday night with an offer from Scott Frost and the Huskers. Earlier this month, he was offered by Kirby Smart after throwing at Georgia. He’s also been to Clemson and Alabama.
Raiola is the son of former Husker All-American and 2000 Rimington Award winner Dominic Raiola.
He was in Lincoln accompanying his son on the visit Friday. This was the first time Dylan Raiola was able to spend time up close and around the Nebraska football program.
“He’s really having a blast here. I really think he felt that special bond to this place,” Dominic Raiola said.
“It always feels like home coming back. It’s always a comfort coming back to a place that was special to me. It’s awesome to be able to share this with Dylan to show what God has blessed him with.
“We could do this every day. He’s a workaholic. It’s what he wants to do. We do summer baseball and stuff. We make sure he dedicates enough time and takes care of his arm and everything. This is what he wants to do. I always ask ‘are you taking care of your arm?’ He says, ‘you always tell me, this is what I trained for. Right?’”
The Raiola’s had a tight itinerary in Nebraska on Friday, as they flew into Omaha in the morning.
From there they made a pitstop to see former Husker and 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch, who Dominic Raiola played with at NU.
“We stopped at Eric’s house this morning and we got to take a picture with the Heisman,” Dominic Raiola said. “(Dylan) held the Heisman. It was pretty cool. It’s been a cool trip so far.”
Since Dominic Raiola finished his playing days at NU in 2000, he has actually not been back to a Husker game.
However, he’s visited this state of Nebraska several times, he’s just not been able to see a game. That will change this fall when the Raiola’s plan to watch the Huskers play at Oklahoma. Norman is just a short drive from Burleson, Texas where the Raiola’s live.
“Since I got done playing I haven’t been back to a game here,” Raiola said. “It’s just been hard because the kids have activities on the weekend. We either have a volleyball tournament or a high school volleyball tournament, it’s just been hard to get back. We will pop in during the off-season.
“We will definitely be back. I’m planning on going to the OU game this year when they go down to OU. We don’t live far from there. Then coming back up here, we have to be back at a game where it’s full capacity. That’s the only way to do it.”
After spending the day with Frost on Friday, Dominic Raiola said he was impressed with what he saw.
He knows Frost stepped into a tough situation, and he’s rebuilding things the right way.
“It’s his fourth year, and he really did a total cleanse of this place,” Dominic Raiola said. “He finally got his guys that are really coming up and really hitting their stride right now. I’m really optimistic to see what he’s got going on this year because I think they are not far.
“There’s something to be said about continuity and having 110 total percent from everyone around you. It is hard. You have to win here. I think they are at that point where it’s ready to turn the corner. It’s going to happen. It will happen. The coaches that he’s with have all been with him through the thick and thin. When they turn this place around, it’s going to be that much special.”
2021 will actually be the first season Dylan Raiola starts a high school varsity game, as in 2020 his team was led by Florida recruit Jalen Kitna.
There’s a lot of football ahead for Dylan Raiola before he has to make a college decision. But one thing is certain, he’s not afraid to compete.
“We’ve been to Clemson and Alabama,” Dominic Raiola said. “We are going to Notre Dame on Tuesday. That’s a big trip for us. Then he wants to go down to Texas again. He threw there earlier and he wants to go back down there and throw again.
“I always told him we are not going to be in the collecting offers business, just because you can only go to one school. Let’s go to schools you really think you have a shot to go to. If you get an offer, great. Then you have to reevaluate.”