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The rich get richer, should be the theme for Georgia football. On Monday, five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola committed to the Bulldogs, setting them up for a bright future at the position.
What turned out to be a pretty wild recruitment ended on Monday, as Raiola made his final decision. After throwing at a Georgia football camp in 2021, Kirby Smart extended an offer to the talented quarterback. Now, three years later and holding off plenty of other schools, Kirby has landed his future gunslinger.
The 6-foot-3, 220 pound quarterback committed to Ohio State in May of 2022, but backed off his pledge last December. The Bulldogs never stopped interacting with the No. 1 overall prospect in the country, constantly staying in communication. This battle was not going to stop until Dylan Raiola either signed his name on a piece of paper or committed to Georgia.
There was also a secret weapon when it came to Raiola’s recruitment. Former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford is close friends with Dylan’s father, Dominic. The two previously played together for the Detroit Lions. Dominic was Stafford’s center, so there was already a tie to the Bulldogs.
After attending the 2023 national championship game in Los Angeles, things seemed to swing in the Bulldogs favor. This was most likely due to Dylan being around Matthew Stafford during his time in LA.
Former Georgia Staffer Chandler LeCroy Played Huge Part
There was also another person who was pivotal in the recruitment of Raiola. Former recruiting assistant Chandler LeCroy was very involved in getting a commitment from the quarterback. LeCroy tragically died in Jan. 15 car accident that also claimed the life of Georgia lineman Devin Willock. According to UGA Rivals interview with Raiola, LeCroy was there for his first ever visit to Athens.
“Chandler was there for my first-ever visit and camp,” Raiola said. “June 2, 2021, that was my first camp, visit, everything and she was my host. You know I’m a big believer, and I think God set that up perfectly for her to be my first host ever in this recruiting world. We got to build a great relationship. She was always smiling. When you were around her you’d be touched by her smile. She’s such a tender heart and she loved her Georgia football. I used to call her during the games, during the national championship game.”
The relationship was so special that Dylan even communicated with LeCroy’s family to let them know how much she played a part in his commitment to Georgia.
“Just the way she carried herself, she really impacted that whole building,” Raiola told Rivals. “I have something more to play for now, other than just football. I’ll always keep her in my thoughts before I play football.”
Now, Kirby Smart is set for the future at quarterback, with Carson Beck appearing to be the starter in 2023. In terms of Dylan Raiola, Dan Orvlosky said the Bulldogs just got the best quarterback since Matthew Stafford.
It’s crazy how some of these things work out in the end.