Ex-Nebraska Football star says Donovan Raiola brings 'silent killer' mentality

Reviving Nebraska Football: Donovan Raiola's quietly impactful coaching style and family legacy reshape offensive line dynamics
Nebraska football coach Donovan Raiola brings 'silent killer' mentality.
Nebraska football coach Donovan Raiola brings 'silent killer' mentality. / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

When Matt Rhule retained offensive line coach Donovan Raiola on the Nebraska Football staff, there were plenty of people scratching their heads, wondering what he saw that fans didn’t. Then when quarterback Dylan Raiola ended up reconsidering the Huskers after decommitting from Ohio State, some of those questions seemed to be answered.

While Donovan certainly helped in Dylan Raiola's recruitment process, those around the Nebraska Football program believe the young coach brings quite a bit more than family connections. In fact, former Husker Toniu Fonoti believes that the offensive line coach is going to allow his “silent killer” mentality to rub off on his charges.

You know, I remember watching him when he was growing up,” Fonoti said during an appearance on the No Block No Rock podcast. “You know, he came to, like, Nebraska camps,and he was just like Dominic [Raiola], with the same attitude. Maybe a little bit calmer, but the man was a silent killer.”

The former Nebraska Football star - who manned the offensive line under Frank Solich and Bill Callahan from 2002-2006 - believes that the way that Donovan Raiola carries himself can help to re-establish the Cornhuskers culture of old.

“This dude, like, he's one of those guys, like, you better watch him,” Fonoti added. “Like, you know, he might catch you. He's a good person to have to bring back that culture that we had.”

Ex-Nebraska Football legend believes that Donovan Raiola can bring back old culture

Fonoti isn’t the only one who is excited to see what the Cornhuskers can do with a few years of Donovan Raiola really establishing his way of teaching. His first year in Lincoln is largely seen as an absolute disaster.

However, these days, it’s hard to know how much of that disaster was Raiola’s fault, how much was a lack of talent and how much was Scott Frost’s. 

The current unit is said to be a “tight knit” group who are blending into something truly special. They’re going to need to mesh quickly. It’s safe to say this year is a make or break year for Donovan Raiola’s tenure.

With his nephew under center, big things are expected for Nebraska Football. Those things can’t happen unless the o-line are indeed “silent killers” up front.