Nebraska football: Legacy drives next-gen quarterback hunt

Discover how Nebraska football's rich legacy fuels its search for the next generation of quarterbacks, including standout prospect Dayton Raiola.
Former Nebraska football offensive lineman Dominic Raiola prepares for a game
Former Nebraska football offensive lineman Dominic Raiola prepares for a game / Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Nebraska football team has it's quarterback of the present locked in, whether that happens to be Dylan Raiola, Daniel Kaelin, or Heinrich Haarberg. However, the nature of college football means that coaches always need to be on the lookout for future generations of signal callers as well. 

Last week, the Huskers finished their spring practice session with a successful spring game on the field. However, that particular spring game was also a big time for recruiting the next generation of Nebraska football quarterbacks. 2025 top prospect TJ Lateef was in town to see what the Cornhuskers had to offer; however, so was the kid shaping up to be Nebraska's top 2026 QB prospect.

The top 2026 prospect has a significant connection to the Nebraska football program, one that runs deep in the Raiola family. This enduring connection raises intriguing questions about the team's future and the potential of a strong, long-lasting recruiting pipeline. The presence of Dayton Raiola, the latest member of the clan to explore the Huskers' program, underscores the sense of tradition and continuity within the team.

Dayton is, of course the young brother of Dylan Raiola and could be the heir apparent as the starting quarterback at Buford High this fall. In 2023, he backed up brother Dylan, appearing in just six games and completing 6-of-16 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Those numbers may not be all that impressive, but Dayton Raiola is clearly getting some attention from FBS programs. In addition to holding an offer from Nebraksa, he's also heard from Appalachian State and Charlotte.

Nebraska football looks for for next generation of QBs though a strong legacy

At the beginning of the Huskers' pursuit of Dayton Raiola, it seemed that it was more of a way to sweeten the pot for Dylan than anything. 

However, as the younger brother slides into a situation where he will most likely be starting for a talented high school squad, it's possible the Nebraska football team will be glad it got its foot in the door. The spring game is just one of many visits to Lincoln that have hopefully imprinted in the talented 2026 prospect.