He was the second Ohio State QB to go in the first round in three years, following Dwayne Haskins Jr., who shattered nearly every school single-season passing record in 2018 when Day was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Urban Meyer.
The success of Haskins, Fields and Stroud has not coincidentally come at the same time Ohio State has continued to pump out talented receivers, including 2022 first-round draft picks Garett Wilson and Chris Olave.
“I think Dwayne really kind of broke the mold and became the first first-rounder at quarterback in a long time here,” Day said last week. “Then you’re starting to see Justin and you’re starting to see some of those wide receivers, some of our guys that are having success in the NFL. You’re seeing that carry over, and you’re seeing some of the recruiting start to reflect that as well. Now you’re seeing a couple of guys go in the first round, so it’s starting to pick up our momentum. So it’s very exciting for recruiting to be in that area.”
Stroud, the reigning Big Ten offensive player, quarterback and freshman of the year, is likely to enter next year’s NFL Draft if he has another strong season, but the stage is already set for a spirited battle to replace him between McCord and Brown next spring.
That is all despite Miller and Ewers transferring out in December.
“I try to go recruit the best players in the country every year,” Day said about stacking quarterback talent on top of quarterback talent. “The goal is if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. So the guys who are highly competitive jumped in with two feet.”
Raiola is a five-star recruit who will play at Chandler High School this fall and next after spending his first two seasons at Burleson High School in Texas.
He is a 247Sports Composite top 10 recruit in the class of 2024 and Ohio State’s first verbal from that class.
He committed during a ceremony at a church in Scottsdale, Ariz., and shared the news with a video posted to social media that included his call to Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis telling them, “I’m ready!”
Raiola is the son of longtime Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola, who was an All-American center at Nebraska prior to his pro career.
Jon Kitna, a former Bengals quarterback who also played with the elder Raiola in Detroit, was Dylan’s coach at Burleson.
“Coach Jon Kitna believed in me to play quarterback my freshman year, and I never looked back from there,” Raiola said in his announcement video. “I wouldn’t be here today without him giving me the opportunity to learn what it means to be a man and a quarterback and a leader. I’m excited for this next chapter at Chandler High School. I think we can do some tremendous things here.”
Since 1988 when John Cooper became head coach, expanded the recruiting footprint and brought a more passer-friendly offense to Ohio State, the school has signed 40 players who were listed as quarterbacks out of high school.
Twenty-four came from out of state, including the last eight, but Ohio still has produced the most of any state with 16. Next is California with five and Texas with four.
Cincinnati and Cleveland both produced a pair of Ohio State quarterback signees in that period while St. Henry (pop. 2,500) is the only one to produce three: brothers Bobby and Tom Hoying and Todd Boeckman.
As with recruiting as a whole, the trend for Ohio State has been national in the last 20 years.
Since 2002 when the common era of recruiting rankings began, Ohio State has signed 21 quarterbacks, including 15 from out of state.
Of those recruits, four were were five-stars (Ewers, McCord, Braxton Miller and Terrelle Pryor) and 13 who were four-stars, including Burrow, Stroud, Miller and Stroud. The last three-star quarterback signee at Ohio State was Stephen Collier of Leesburg, Ga., in 2014.
The last Ohio State quarterback signee from Ohio is Joe Burrow, who starred at Athens High School and was part of the 2015 recruiting class. Before that, the most recent was Miller and Cardale Jones in 2011 (Jones was a gray-shirt and did not enroll until 2012).
Twelve of the 40 signees since ‘88 became full-time starters while 15 transferred, including six of the latter since 2015.
Ten became NFL Draft picks, though Miller was one of three to be chosen at a different position. (He finished his career at receiver after suffering a shoulder injury.)
As a transfer, Fields is not included in any of those figures — nor is Troy Smith. The 2002 Cleveland Glenville graduate was listed as a four-star “athlete” when he signed but ultimately overtook the more ballyhooed Justin Zwick of Massillon Washington and became not just a starter and draft pick but the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner.