I know losing Dylan Raiola isn’t ideal, but it’s better now than a year from now. Washington is in a much worse situation following the decommitment of Lincoln Kienholz than Ohio State is with the decommitment of Raiola. Washington has to scramble, but they still have a 5-star in 2022 sitting on the bench another year since Michael Penix selfishly decided to return. They are without a quarterback in 2023 but things like that are very fixable. The portal is a tremendous fallback plan.
I think you’re seeing that play out in Ann Arbor now as Jim Harbaugh continues to make up for lackluster recruiting by bringing in veterans out of the portal. They just landed a commitment from a defensive end out of Coastal Carolina with two years of eligibility. I just reached out to somebody about him and was told “this kid is actually talented.”
I wonder how many spots Michigan sets aside for portal players. They know they have recruited poorly the last handful of years and they can’t afford to have to rely on some of the players they’ve signed. They probably don’t even have a number because there is no cutoff for them. There are plenty of players on the existing roster to push aside for proven veterans. It’s a more immediate and productive course of action for a school like Michigan without a natural recruiting base.
I know that losing your quarterback commit from the 2024 class isn’t nothing. This is the guy they chose to go after and so Dylan Raiola is the guy they liked best. No matter how you frame it, this is a loss for Ohio State. But that doesn’t mean they can’t find a win to negate it.
I think if you map the seasons out, you’ll find that there is still time to make up for this loss. Assuming the absolute fastest timeline — Kyle McCord goes pro after 2023, Devin Brown goes pro after 2024 — you’ve still got a third-year guy in Lincoln Kienholz in 2025 and whoever they sign for that year as well. Dylan Raiola was never going to be in line to start as a true freshman. They’ll still land somebody in 2024. Assuming a more realistic timeline, Devin Brown is your starting quarterback in 2025 as well. Then in 2026, you’re starting a fourth-year Kienholz, a third-year 2024 signee, or a second-year 2025 signee.
I wonder how optimistic you really have to be to think Lincoln Kienholz sticks around for a fourth year before finally getting the starting job like I mentioned above. The last Ohio State quarterback to even be around for a fourth year is JT Barrett.
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