Nebraska football great warns of Dylan Raiola learning curve

Dave Rimington knows all about the pressure of Nebraska football as a young player, and he's warning fans to try to temper Dylan Raiola's expectations in 2024.

Quarterback Dylan Raiola throws a pass
Quarterback Dylan Raiola throws a pass / Antranik Tavitian/The Republic / USA
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The arrival of Dylan Raiola has caught the attention of everyone around the Nebraska football program. That includes guys who last played for the Cornhuskers decades ago. To a person, Raiola’s commitment has bred optimism, though there are some who are cautioning fans to show a bit of patience for the soon-to-be true freshman superstar.

Count former Nebraska football star Dave Rimington among those both excited about Raiola but also wanting people to temper expectations. Speaking to the Omaha World-Herald, the Husker great explained what he hoped fans realized sooner rather than later about the 5-star signal-caller.

“He’s a young kid, so I don’t count on him coming in and starting right away,” Rimington told the paper. “He might, but he’s going to have a lot to learn; your head spins for a little while there.”

Rimington isn’t one that thinks anyone should expect a first year player to be a starter, let alone a savior. He doesn’t believe that people should expect Dylan Raiola to take over the Nebraska football program and lead them to victory. Even if all signs point to him getting the shot to do just that, if only by process of elimination.

“You don’t want to put so much pressure on a young kid that he doesn’t grow into the position; especially at quarterback when you have these high expectations, the learning curve can be pretty steep,” Rimington added. “It’ll be interesting because I just know it’s a tough transition — but (Raiola’s) the best one out there, so I’m probably going to be wrong.”

Nebraska football legend wants fans to understand the learning curve

If you’re a Husker fan, you hope Rimington is wrong. Granted, the last time Nerbaska handed the starting job to a true freshman quarterback, things went OK. 

Even if the Cornhuskers didn’t post a winning record in Adrian Martinez’s freshman season, it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t very, very good. If Raiola can have the kind of individual season that Martinez had for Scott Frost, it seems extremely likely that Nebraska football will have a very good 2024 as a team.