There is a strong possibility that new Georgia commit Dylan Raiola ends up being a better college football player over Texas quarterback Arch Manning.
After missing out on Arch Manning to Texas last summer, the Georgia Bulldogs responded by landing the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2024 cycle in five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola.
Raiola committed to the G on Monday afternoon over the likes of his father’s alma mater of Nebraska and USC. He had been committed to Ohio State last year, but backed out of it shortly before the College Football Playoff. Fate would have it, Raiola was cheering on the Dawgs when they beat the Buckeyes in a Peach Bowl for the ages. He should be enrolling early in January 2024.
According to Matt Zenitz of On3, there is some belief that Raiola has the higher ceiling as a college quarterback prospect over Manning. While I subscribe to the notion that there probably is some truth to this, I fully anticipate both Manning and Raiola to have stellar college careers in the SEC over the next three-to-four seasons. The best part is they will play each other at some point.
Let’s discuss why Raiola may end up being the better college quarterback over Manning in the end.
College football news: Some coaches believe in Dylan Raiola over Arch Manning
Admittedly, I recognize there are a lot of similarities between Raiola and Manning as highly-touted high school prospects. They have serious NFL pedigree. Raiola’s father Dominic was a superstar offensive lineman at Nebraska and had a lengthy pro career with the Detroit Lions. As for Manning, everybody knows all about his Grandpa Red and his two Super Bowl-winning uncles.
Another interesting factor is you can sense them being drawn to very important offensive-minded coaches. Georgia could never overcome the Austinite allure of Steve Sarkisian and A.J. Milwee to landing Manning. Raiola formed a strong connection with Todd Monken, and an even better one with Mike Bobo, who was his father’s Lions teammate Matthew Stafford’s offensive coordinator.
Knowing that Georgia will be rolling with Bobo going forward was a massive box checked in Georgia’s favor. Matt Rhule may get Nebraska turned around, but Georgia is the two-time defending national champions. As far as USC is concerned, the Trojans landed a five-star in Manning’s class in the form of Malachi Nelson, who just might actually be better than Manning.
And that right there is where I think this comes down to. If Manning’s last name was Smith, he probably wouldn’t have been the No. 1 prospect in the 2023 cycle. It probably would have been Nelson. The other important factor is level of comp. High school football is huge in Raiola’s native Phoenix, whereas it still is in Manning’s home of New Orleans, but he played at a private school.
Not to say Raiola will be the Dawgs’ Week 1 starter in 2024, but he is less likely to be fed to the wolves as Manning potentially could in his first year at Texas. I think Quinn Ewers will flourish in the Longhorns’ final season in the Big 12, but he did suffer a shoulder injury last year, and the pressure is on Sarkisian to get this team to around New Year’s Six levels before it joins the SEC.
Odds are, Raiola will be a third-stringer as a true freshman in 2024, backing up Carson Beck and either Brock Vandagriff or Gunner Stockton, depending on who doesn’t transfer. Beating out Beck is probably not happening, but another year in the system would conceivably give Raiola a great shot at winning the job in 2025. Remember that iron sharpens iron, and Georgia has so much ore.
Ultimately, these two teams feel like a natural fit for both blue-chip quarterback prospect. Not everybody gets to be as lucky to learn from two of the best offensive minds in college football in Bobo and Sarkisian. Look for these two high-profile quarterbacks to put up stats and amass wins at their respective SEC schools. Of course, Raiola’s Dawgs have better infrastructure over Texas.
Raiola may prove to be the better player over Manning, but it’s not like only one can have success.