While the larger wave of recruits has already taken their official visits to Athens, there’s still plenty to talk about in regard to UGA’s 2024 recruiting class.
For starters, unless you’ve been living under a rock, it should be known that Kirby Smart and Georgia Bulldogs have landed the commitment of the No. 1 quarterback in the class of 2024, Dylan Raiola. Son of former Detroit Lions center and All-American at Nebraska, Dominic Raiola, this young gunslinger actually had deep-rooted ties with the Dawgs that eventually led to his commitment. With his dad having been UGA legend Matt Stafford’s center for multiple seasons, in addition to a couple more connections, the Red and Black managed to make it all the way to Arizona to land this one. And with his commitment Raiola isn’t only bringing his talent– he’s determined to recruit other blue chips to play alongside him too.
Since his commitment in May, Raiola has been on the trail, already bringing on two more tight ends, Colton Heinrich and Jaden Reddell to TEU. He’s even gone as far as to move to the state of Georgia from Arizona and transfer to play for the Buford Wolves– one of the best teams in the state if not the country to further his regional recruiting efforts and further associate himself with the Georgia brand.
What’s interesting though, is that Georgia also has a commitment from Ryan Puglisi, a four star quarterback prospect and arguably a top-ten prospect in his position. He committed in October, much earlier than Raiola, and doesn’t seem intimidated by the accolades Raiola’s coming in with. Both of them are looking to compete for their spot on the team come time, but we’ll see how that goes in this ever-changing NIL influenced world.
Another key recruiter for the Dawgs has been second year defensive backs coach Fran Brown. Since his hiring, he’s definitely surpassed expectations recruiting-wise. His influence was key in Ellis Robinson’s commitment– a five star corner from IMG, originally from the Connecticut/New England area similar to Brown. It’s his prowess that’s landed the Dawgs commitments from three of the top six safeties in the nation in Jaylen Heyward, Peyton Woodyard, and Demello Jones. Both Brown and Raiola are itching to get KJ Bolden, the No. 1 safety in the class, and at the moment, it looks like it’s working with multiple crystal balls pointing Bolden to Athens. Bolden is a special talent who can play on both sides of the ball, so that’ll definitely be interesting to see in the future.
Brown’s northeastern background also had a big part to play in the commitment of Jordan Thomas earlier this month. This 6-5, 330-pound defensive lineman out of Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey can add to the behemoth role that the likes of Jordan Davis left behind. Even offensive linemen from Jersey are looking Athen’s way, with four star tackle recruit Nyier Daniels taking Georgia into heavy consideration.
The Dawgs have been hot this summer. Just the other week, Chauncey Bowens, a Florida commit, flipped during his official visit photoshoot at Georgia. The numbers keep coming. Kirby’s already amassed a class of 21 commits with who knows how many more to come. With early signing day still months away though, there’s still a couple guys to keep an eye out for especially with Raiola recruiting the way he is. Five star No. 1 overall safety and now high school teammate to Raiola, KJ Bolden. Five star No. 1 overall wide receiver and Ohio State commit, Jeremiah Smith. And five star No. 7 overall wide receiver Ryan Wingo.
The offensive potential for this 2024 class is nothing like Georgia has ever seen before. Raiola’s commitment alone is a feat many in the college football sphere wasn’t possible because he was an incredible quarterback prospect. Now it’s almost likely that Kirby walks away with that on top of a couple five star wide receivers! It’s indeed, crazy times here in Athens.
If it all comes together, this class could wind up shifting the identity of the Georgia Bulldogs as we know it. Yes, you know and love the legendary Georgia defense, but pretty soon, you may be looking at the offense the same way. Don’t get it twisted, though. Georgia already boasts an impressively efficient offense. The Dawgs already make do with what they have and some. But these 2024 guys are really going to move the needle and keep the Dawg dynasty rolling for a long time.