Friday Night Notes: Dylan Raiola's recruiting impact, Kentucky's new QB commit, plus more

USA TODAY High School Sports‘ Friday Night Notes is a weekly high school recruiting recap that looks at the latest news from around the country—from the Class of 2023 to ’24 and beyond.

While there’s something to be said for building a complete football team, the quickest path to victory is and will always be quality quarterback play.

This week’s edition of Friday Night Notes will be all about the most important position in the game, with three recruits who could soon be making a massive impact at the highest level of college competition.

We begin in Athens, Georgia, where the reigning kings of NCAA football pulled off a stunning victory this week. On Monday, the No. 1 quarterback and top-overall recruit in the class of 2024 – Pinnacle (Ariz.) QB Dylan Raiola – announced his commitment to the Bulldogs.

Raiola (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) gives a team that’s dominated defensively the last two years one of the most talented QBs in the country. His impact will go beyond what he does on the field, though. With Raiola in the fold, Athens is even more so a hot destination for top-rated recruits.

The best name they could hope to bring in is five-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith, who is committed to Ohio State, where Raiola had once been committed. If he can be convinced to follow Raiola, the Bulldogs will soon get No. 1 talents at the two most-critical offensive positions in the modern game.

Smith is far from the only playmaker who’d be interested in teaming with Raiola, of course. According to Adam Gorney at Rivals, Silsbee (Texas) four-star receiver Dre’Lon Miller, St. Louis University (Mo.) five-star wideout Ryan Wingo and 2025’s No. 1 ranked running back, Mater Dei’s Jordon Davison are all considering Georgia more closely now.

If Georgia can recruit all of them and keep their defense going at a respectable level, they’ll be in dynasty territory. You can read more about Raiola’s recruitment and Bulldogs football in general at UGA Wire.

4-star QB Cutter Boley commits to Kentucky

Cutter Boley

Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Georgia wasn’t the only SEC team that added a quarterback this week. On Thursday, Kentucky got a commitment from Lexington Christian Academy (Ky.) four-star quarterback Cutter Boley.

Boley announced the news with a video post on his Instagram page.

Going by the composite rankings, Boley (6-foot-5, 203 pounds) is the sixth-best quarterback, No. 1 overall in the state of Kentucky and No. 72 nationally in the class of 2025. However, Boley says he will reclassify to 2024.

Boley also told Steve Wiltfong at 247Sports that offensive coordinator Liam Coen’s return was a big factor in his decision.

“Coach Coen came back and we got that relationship built… After he came back we connected quick. I think he’s gonna be one of the best offensive coordinators in the nation and at some point a head coach at the college level. I just feel like he’s going to put me in the best position to showcase myself for the NFL in terms of the style of offense he runs… I feel that offense best represents the style of play I want to run from shotgun and under center. I feel like I’m really getting both and being put in a good position overall.”

Boley also had offers from 21 other schools, including his four other finalists: Florida State, MichiganPenn State and Tennessee.

Alabama offers 5-star QB Bryce Underwood

Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Few teams have more cause to be frustrated about Raiola joining Georgia than Alabama, who are falling behind in the 2024 recruiting cycle. At the moment, they only have six hard commits, and their class ranks No. 20 in the country, which is a relatively low ranking for this program.

However, the Crimson Tide always plays the long game at quarterback. They already have a top-five QB prospect in the ’24 class in Julian Sayin, and now they’re making a play for the best quarterback in the class of 2025.

That would be Belleville (Mich.) five-star QB Bryce Underwood, who they recently made an offer to, according to Roll Tide Wire.

As a Sophomore, Underwood (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) led his team to a perfect 14-0 season, throwing for 2,762 yards and 37 touchdowns and rushing for another 632 yards and eight more scores.

There’s plenty of competition to go around for Underwood, though. He has offers from nearly 40 different programs, including Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Texas.

More football recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires

Basketball recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires

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Vols Wire:

No. 1 forward in Missouri announces top seven schools

Gators Wire:

Florida basketball earns first 2024 commitment from in-state SG

Spartans Wire:

Michigan State basketball makes top seven for Tyler McKinley

Tar Heels Wire:

Report suggests five-star UNC basketball target will visit campus again

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