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‘Nebraska has been in my blood’: Dylan Raiola talks decision and more Cornhuskers news



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In our Nebraska Cornhuskers news roundup, Dylan Raiola talks about his commitment to Nebraska football, plus more.

Early Signing Day turned out to be a positive day for Nebraska football. Five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola was the first player to send in his national letter of intent and everyone that was expected to sign for the Nebraska Cornhuskers did so.

There were also three new additions to the 2024 class for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who landed three-star linebacker Vincent Shavers, as well as three-star cornerbacks Larry Tarver and Amare Sanders.

Nebraska football finished with a top-20 recruiting class according to the 247 Sports team rankings. The Huskers also rank sixth in the Big Ten right behind USC and Michigan.

A big reason for that late jump was the commitment of Dylan Raiola. In a signing ceremony with Buford on Wednesday night, he explained his decision to the local media in Georgia.

“I’ve nothing but respect for Coach Smart and his program. I really like the coaches up there, but you know, Nebraska has just been in my blood.”

Raiola went on to say that the pull on his heart to go to Nebraska football was so strong, he thought it must have been God telling him to go to Nebraska. That might sound corny, but his heart was telling him where to go and I’m glad that he had the conviction to follow it.

Raiola called Matt Rhule on Dec. 10 and said he wanted to play for the Huskers and wanted to visit. Matt Rhule said he “challenged” Raiola to make sure it was the right thing for him to do. That it was the right fit.

That again, tells you something about Matt Rhule. His first instinct wasn’t to sell a five-star quarterback, even though he desperately needed one. He wanted to make sure it was the right thing for Dylan, which probably made the decision to flip even easier.

You also have to admire Daniel Kaelin. What a mature kid and what a competitor. On Wednesday, he said, “I decided to keep the main thing the main thing, which is football. Dylan’s a really good player. I’m excited to go there and compete with him.”

Nebraska basketball survives against North Dakota

There were a few moments of panic on Wednesday night as the Nebraska basketball team, fresh off a pair of huge wins over Michigan State and Kansas State, fell behind North Dakota by 14 points in the second half.

However, the Huskers, playing without starting center Rienk Mast, who had knee surgery this week and will be out for a few weeks, were able to rally in the second half, outscoring North Dakota by 18 points to notch an 83-75 win.

C.J. Wilcher had a huge day off the bench for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, scoring a team-high 16 points. He was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and continues to have an excellent 2023-24 season. Juwan Gary did his part with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Jamarques Lawrence had one of his better games with 14 points and three assists compared to just one turnover.

Josiah Allick stepped back into the starting lineup for Mast and notched 10 points and six boards in the win. Keisei Tominaga also had 14. The 10-2 Huskers will host South Carolina State next Friday in the final non-conference game before the re-start of Big Ten play.

In case you missed it

Nebraska football will no longer have Chubba Purdy on the roster as Purdy has entered the transfer portal with reports that Boise State could be the destination. Also, five-star offensive tackle Jordan Seaton didn’t sign with Colorado last night. Nebraska hasn’t offered yet, but he did say that “Dylan Raiola and Nebraska” reached out.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska