Even though he’s already ranked as the No. 1 quarterback in the recruiting class of 2024 and even though he’s already locked in his commitment to Ohio State, Dylan Raiola isn’t about to get complacent now.
That’s why he was at Ohio State on Tuesday, when he went through a full day of workouts with Ryan Day and Corey Dennis during the last of OSU’s seven high school football camps this summer. And that’s why he also plans to come back to Ohio State as many times as he can before he officially begins his Buckeye career in two years.
“It’s just very important to really come out here and get work in and never settle. I always want to get better, learn from the best in the world and Coach Day’s the best coach to do it,” Raiola said after Tuesday’s camp. “I want to obviously get back out here and learn. I want to learn as much as I can before I get here, so I’m ready.”
After going through Tuesday’s camp, the first time he’s had the opportunity to participate in an on-field workout with Day and Dennis, Raiola said he was “speechless” about how much he had learned.
“I learned so much from him. I was taking everything like a sponge,” Raiola said.
In particular, Raiola said Tuesday’s workout with Day taught him how to fine-tune his ball placement. And he plans to take those lessons back with him to Arizona as he begins his junior season at Chandler High School. Raiola said he’s trying to improve as much as he can during the offseason so that he’ll be ready to perform at his best when the season begins.
“You can work on all your technical stuff now, and then when September comes, your first game on a Friday night, just go play ball,” Raiola said. “That was something they said, work on it now and then just go play ball.”
Six weeks after his commitment to Ohio State, Raiola is feeling better than ever about his decision to become a Buckeye. Tuesday’s camp reinforced his belief he made the right decision. So too did the news that came just minutes before his Tuesday afternoon throwing session when Ohio State landed a commitment from Brandon Inniss, just one day after the Buckeyes received the commitment of fellow five-star wide receiver Carnell Tate, who was also in attendance for Tuesday’s camp.
“They kept just proving this point why I came here and why I did it so early,” Raiola said. “Right before I came out to work out, we got Brandon. That was huge, so having Carnell, Brandon, Bryson (Rodgers), hopefully Noah (Rogers) next, just having guys around me to throw the ball to and make plays. So we’re trying to win a couple national championships.”
As the first member of Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class, Raiola has quickly embraced the role of peer recruiter. He’s among those trying to convince Rogers to follow Tate and Inniss with a commitment of his own, while he listed five-star wide receivers Jeremiah Smith and Joshisa Trader, five-star safeties Peyton Woodyard and KJ Bolden and four-star running back Stacy Gage as players he’s trying to recruit in his class.
“I take a lot of pride in it,” Raiola said of peer recruiting. “It really falls on me who I want to bring in. So my goal is to bring in a top class in ’24 and maybe even ’23. I’m just trying to build both and trying to bring a championship back to Columbus.”
Gage, who was also at Ohio State for Tuesday’s camp, says Raiola has been relentless in those recruiting efforts – and that Raiola’s presence in the class increases his own interest in Ohio State.
“He’s really recruiting me. He texts me almost every day,” Gage said. “He texted me before I landed here. So with him being here, that’s a good thing.”
Raiola has been in constant communication with Ohio State’s coaches, talking to Dennis on a daily basis. He says he calls Day about once every two weeks, while he even talks to the Buckeyes’ other offensive coaches and defensive coaches to find out which players they want him to help them recruit.
“I always want to get better, learn from the best in the world and Coach Day’s the best coach to do it.”– Dylan Raiola on camping at Ohio State
As excited as Raiola is for his future at Ohio State, though, he’s also not looking past his final two years of high school football. He says his primary focus right now is on preparing for his junior season at Chandler, and he has big goals he wants to accomplish before he begins his career as a Buckeye.
“Two state championships, for sure,” Raiola said. “This year, I want to throw 40 touchdowns minimum, 4,000 pass yards. So just setting the bar high and anything less than that is not gonna be accepted. Setting the bar high, pushing myself to it and not settling.”