COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dylan Raiola picked a pretty good day to return to Ohio State’s campus.
Tuesday was his first time in Columbus since he kicked off the Buckeyes ’2024 recruiting class as part of a birthday celebration on May 9. His return allowed him to work with head coach Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis.
He signed up to be the next in line of the quarterback factory Day is building on OSU’s final camp of the summer, providing an up-close view of why it’s gotten off to such a good start. It’s the first of many trips he’ll make back since his recruitment is over, and all he has to focus on is one school.
“I’m speechless,” Raiola said. “I learned so much from him. I’m just taking it in like a sponge. That was my biggest thing coming here was to get back out here and learn as much as I can before I get here. ”
As cool as it is to learn from your future head coach, that is not what made this visit so special for the top player in the 2024 class. While he was preparing for a workout on a hot summer day, the coaching staff was adding to the arsenal of weapons that’ll be waiting on his arrival, one of which just so happened to also be in town.
Receiver Carnell Tate committed to Ohio State on Monday as the 2023 class’ first five-star, continuing what’s been an impressive start to the first few years of the career of OSU receivers coach Brian Hartline. Then, as he and Raiola made their way onto the indoor field inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Facility on Tuesday, 2023 five-star receiver Brandon Inniss joined them as future Buckeyes.
“Right before I came out here to work out, we got Brandon which is huge,” Raiola said.
That’s two of the nation’s top three receivers choosing to be Buckeyes within 24 hours. That’s without adding in the already committed Bryson Rodgers, who’s steadily moving up the rankings, plus Noah Rogers as potentially the final piece of that four-man puzzle. And there are already a handful of five-stars and top 100 receivers already on the roster.
That’s a lot for a five-star quarterback to be happy about. Day’s keeping his word on what players of Raiola’s caliber should expect to walk into if they come.
“He kept proving the point of why I came here and why I did it so early,” Raiola said. “Having Carnell, Brandon, Bryson – and hopefully Noah next – around me to throw the ball to and make plays. We’re trying to win a couple of national championships. That’s the goal. “
Raiola jumped on board early so he could start building around him. That goes for the 2023 and 2024 classes, the latter for which he’s already targeted the likes of Jeremiah Smith, Joshisa Trader, Peyton Woodard, KJ Bolden and Stacy Gage – who was also in Columbus – just to start.
“I got a lot of No. 1s, ”Raiola said. “If I named all of the guys I wanted, we’d be here all day.”
Raiola has now been to Columbus three times in the past six months. The first gave him a chance to see a practice. The second let him see a preview of a gameday environment, even if it was just the Spring Game.
The third was practically everything a quarterback could’ve asked for. He worked with his coaches, got in the movie room and saw the city a little bit. Then he got to see what a big-time recruiting machine looks like in action when everything is running smoothly.
That’s a kid who’ll head back home with no complaints.
“I’m very happy.”
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