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Dylan Raiola: What is the main recruiting message Kirby Smart has for the 5-star QB?

SystemSystem Posts: 7,416 admin
edited February 2023 in Article commenting
imageDylan Raiola: What is the main recruiting message Kirby Smart has for the 5-star QB?

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 5-star QB Dylan Raiola. He ranks as the nation’s No. 1 QB and the No. 1 overall prospect for 2024 across all the national recruiting services.

Read the full story here


  • reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,564 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Jeff thanks for the column, but why has no one mentioned the kid out of Savannah that we offered just a few days ago for 2024? Jake Merklinger? How many QB's can we take in the next class? I've heard just 2. Other UGA reporting sites are listing this.

  • ColumbusDawgColumbusDawg Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Who knows the reasons why Merklinger was offered. Kirby and the staff know way more than we know about their chances with Raiola. Either he has told them some inside info or they do not know which way he will go so either way, they need another QB.

    This time it cannot be all the eggs in the Raiola basket, like it was with Manning. Hopefully Raiola will come to Athens so I hope he hasn't let UGA know he is not and this is just in case.

    Because if you look at the other schools he is looking at, he could easily go to one of them, like USC and Lincoln Riley. He does not have to worry about their OC or QB coach leaving there, like is likely at UGA.

    So I hope he trusts Kirby and loves Athens and UGA because it would be awesome to have him as our QB in a few years. But if not, that is OK too with Kirby running the program and our defense!

  • reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,564 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    "So I hope he trusts Kirby and loves Athens and UGA "

    Me too, reminds me of Mahomes, but he's on record as saying he won't let a teams won loss record be the deciding factor. I take that to mean just because you've won back to back NC's UGA, don't expect me to choose you. Sigh.

  • MontanaDawgMontanaDawg Posts: 1,821 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @ColumbusDawg...Raiola due to visit Athens the weekend of March 18th, but I think the only way we keep a shot at him is if Monken stays. Raiola won't be making a decision before late Summer.

    I hadn't heard of this Merklinger kid, but we always need more quality depth at QB. And an offer doesn't mean anything. Four other Power 5 schools are in the hunt as well for 4-star Merklinger.

  • thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
    edited February 2023


    "Who knows the reasons why Merklinger was offered."

    Simple. If Raiola's committing causes Puglisi to leave - this does happen with schools who regularly recruit multiple QBs in a class - they will be in a position to land Merklinger to replace him. Also, if Raiola goes elsewhere UGA can take both Puglisi and Merklinger.

    This is routine. I want to point out that UGA is different from most schools in how they handle QB recruiting to begin with. Most schools routinely sign 2 QBs in a class. And even in the years that they don't, they make sure to sign 1 plus get a recruited walk-on who has offers from Group of 5 schools. I have always found UGA's only signing 1 QB a year to be amazing - and not in a good way - precisely because it leads to situations like 2019 (no QB depth forced Jake Fromm to play hurt at least a couple games, and play to avoid getting hurt the entire season which limited the playbook, and yes every defensive coordinator on UGA's schedule knew this and tried to exploit it) and 2020 (Fromm's exit left no viable QB) and you know what I will even say 2021 (the options included an oft-injured JT Daniels, an SB IV who played horribly the year before and a redshirt freshman Carson Beck who was nowhere near ready ... SB IV's significant improvement plus the emergence of Brock Bowers was as much sheer luck as "this was my diabolical plan all along!").

    As UGA is now emphasizing QBs that are mobile, UGA should leverage that. Offer 2 guys every year, but make sure that one of them is "fine" with moving to WR, TE, RB or defense if he doesn't crack the QB rotation. Happens quite a lot. Mark Andrews went to Oklahoma intending to play QB, but Baker Mayfield beat him out. Went on to be a much better TE in the NFL than Mayfield at QB.

  • navydawgnavydawg Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    All I can say to any QB prospect considering UGA is this: for the last quite a few years with Kirby the Dawgs have recruited and signed Very talented O line players. And seem to just be getting better and better in that regard. Keep the Joe Moore Award we prefer Ntl. Titles !! So a QB can have Very good time and protection to throw at UGA. As far as targets to throw to the Dawgs have recruited and signed absolutely Phenomenal TEs !! Kirby and UGA are getting better and better at recruiting and signing WRs. Yes there are other schools that have done better, but UGA is Rapidly catching up in quality and depth at WR. Lastly the Dawgs have recruited and signed RBs that are coached up to be Very adept at catching the ball coming out of the backfield. So when All these factors are combined it puts UGA in a very high quality position on Offense. These things said I think All players have a desire to be a part of a Winning program. UGA has had and Will Continue to have an extremely formidable Defense. And a very solid Special Teams unit. IF Coach Monken leaves Yes it would be a set back of sorts. But I Trust Kirby to put a highly capable person in that position should that happen. And with the sheer talent of players on the O it’s not like the Dawgs will fall back to the Stone Age !! Lastly but just as important if not More so Kirby and UGA have shown crystal clear that they treat their players like Family. Parents your Son will be taken care of at UGA. So message to QBs, give the Dawgs some visits and check things out, then Commit to the G, you’ll be glad you did !!

  • CHDawg54CHDawg54 Posts: 319 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Jake Merklinger is a diamond in the rough and at 6'4" 195 is a load when he runs, He also has a quick release that reminds me of Kenny Stabler in his prime. UGA used to always have great RBs and average QBs, Since Kirby Smart arrived we have had outstanding play from both. The Dawg's future looks bright

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