Nebraska football: Dylan Raiola called 'most impactful' freshman of 2024

The favorite to be the Nebraska football starting quarterback next season is getting quite a bit of love from national analysts.

Jan 3, 2024; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers football assistant coach Donovan Raiola
Jan 3, 2024; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers football assistant coach Donovan Raiola / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
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Nebraska football fans are obviously quite excited about their prospects for the 2024 season with Dylan Raiola under center. As it turns out, they are far from the only ones who believe he could help the Huskers finally start to turn things around.

There’s been a buzz among college football analysts surrounding Raiola for a while now. That was ramped up a bit when he showed out at the Polynesian Bowl and threw an absolute bomb of a pass during one of the game’s practices. Now one national analyst believes the incoming freshman could be the most impactful freshman of the entire 2024 season.

Chris Petersen of Saturday Blitz wrote about a few of the freshman quarterbacks who could be making their debut for their respective teams. The difference, as he pointed out is that it’s not that Raiola might start. It’s that he absolutely will start.

“Julian Sayin and DJ Lagaway could end up starting for Ohio State and Florida respectively,” Petersen wrote. “But Dylan Raiola is definitely going to start. He's also going to provide an immediate upgrade for a team that was a quarterback away from being kind of scary last season.”

Nebraska football could have most impactful freshman in 2024

Petersen isn’t wrong about why the Huskers went from being a bowl hopeful at 5-3, to missing the postseason yet again and finishing 5-7. Quarterback play was the biggest and most obvious reason Matt Rhule’s first season didn’t end the way he hoped.

Quarterback play could be blamed for a couple of losses before that final four game stretch as well. But in those four games, one or two plays made Heinrich Haarberg, Jeff Sims or Chubba Purdue were absolutely the difference between winning and losing.

And that’s how Dylan Raiola could be the most impactful freshman in 2024. He doesn’t need to forge a Heisman campaign for Nebraska football. He just has to make a play here or there and the impact will be felt.