For Dylan Raiola, the Nebraska football program legacy recruit, scholarship offers are rolling in rapidly.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback hasn't even entered his sophomore season at Burleson (Texas) High School, and already has offers from Georgia, Baylor, Florida State, Missouri, TCU, Washington State and, yes, Nebraska.
If you're a Husker fan, you probably should watch this situation closely. Offers will keep arriving. Mega-offers. People who watched Raiola throw exactly 101 passes Friday night in Memorial Stadium during the "Friday Night Lights" camp raved about what they saw.
Arm strength, poise, accuracy, competitiveness.
Dominic Raiola, arguably the second-best center to ever play for Nebraska, speaks with pride about his son's performance. "He's a showman," says the elder Raiola. Which brings us to a question: How does Dominic Raiola go about discussing dear ol' NU with his son as they weigh potential landing spots?
"It's so early in the process," said Dominic Raiola, adding during Monday's appearance on "Early Break" (93.7 FM), "When he talks about the top schools he's interested in and really loves, Nebraska's up there. Right now, I'll take that as a win."
Yes, we'll absolutely watch this story closely. It's fascinating. Dominic Raiola, who was awarded the Rimington Trophy in 2000 as the nation's top center, was truly one of the best Nebraska players I've ever watched personally. He was a blend of ferociousness and precision. In 2000, he recorded 10 or more pancake (knockdown) blocks in 10 games. He was a true freshman in 1997 when current NU head coach Scott Frost led the Huskers to the national championship.
Raiola genuinely loves his alma mater, and is an ardent supporter of Frost and how Frost is building the program.
Yeah, it's all very interesting.
"I'm most interested in the lines," Dominic Raiola said.
Which is why he spent time Friday with Nebraska offensive line coach Greg Austin and defensive line coach Tony Tuioti.
"It sounds like it's getting back to what it was in some capacity," Raiola said. "I love that about it. I know (Dylan) is going to be well-taken care of there. There are so many people who are still around. Joni Duff (an administrative assistant) is still there. Then, across the state of Nebraska, you go there and you're instantly like an adopted son.
"Man, I told my wife it's going to be hard for him not to go there. Shoot, that'd be awesome. We would love to see him go there. But ultimately, it's his choice, and he's going to do a great job of navigating through this process."
The process included trips this week to Notre Dame and Texas. The Longhorns haven't offered a scholarship, but they're recruiting Dylan Raiola hard. As he goes from place to place and throws for different sets of coaches — he's already attended camps at Alabama and Clemson — they'll likely see what Nebraska coaches saw Friday night.
"I was interested in how he took coaching and the respect he showed — he took coaching and applied it," said the elder Raiola, starting center for the Detroit Lions from 2002-14.
What's more, "It looked like the ball was popping — jumping out of his hand," Dominic Raiola said. "It's hard to say this without seeing it, but the kid's better with 11 guys on the field. He just is. He looks down the field all the time. I can't wait to watch him play this year. In that workout, he did everything they asked him to do. He threw to all the receivers. Always jacked them up. He was really positive and really juiced up.
"You could tell there were juices flowing."
Keep in mind, Dylan Raiola didn't have to throw during the camp in Memorial Stadium. Nebraska's coaches, including quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco, already had put him through drills in the indoor practice facility before the actual camp began.
"Mario said, 'You're good. You don't have to throw anymore,'" Dominic said. "Dylan said, 'No, no. I want to throw. I want to throw in the stadium.'
"It was pretty interesting."
All in all, it was an interesting and memorable trip to Nebraska for the Raiolas. They spent time with ESPN baseball analyst Kyle Peterson in Omaha (Dylan also is an elite-level high school catcher). They stopped at former NU quarterback Eric Crouch's home in Elkhorn — and, yes, Crouch pulled his Heisman Trophy from its carrying case. They spent a lot of time with Matt Davison, who was in the Huskers' 1997 recruiting class with Raiola.
Friday night, after the camp was complete, they spent an hour in Frost's office.
What a trip for a high school sophomore-to-be.
"He made a pretty interesting comment when we came up on the (Interstate 80) bridge and saw the stadium," Dominic Raiola said. "The whole time he was saying, 'I'm not nervous, I'm good.' Then when we got up on the bridge, he was like, 'Dad, I'm kind of feeling it now.'
"Being away from that place, you forget how really special and how big-time that place is. You forget how special it can be with a little bit of winning."
Yeah, we should mention another interesting story besides Dylan Raiola's recruitment brewing at Nebraska. Can Frost get the program to turn the corner in the very near future?
Seems like the two stories might be intertwined.