When prized five-star Husker quarterback recruit Dylan Raiola announced last week that he was going to sign with Ohio State, most Husker fans, while disappointed, weren't too surprised.
Those who hoped Dylan would choose Nebraska cited several factors they thought might be in the Huskers' favor:
- His father, Dominic, starred at Nebraska, winning the Rimington Trophy in 2000 and earning consensus All-America honors at center.
- Dylan's uncle Donovan is the current O-line coach at Nebraska.
- The Huskers rolled out the Big Red carpet for Dylan when he came to the Husker Spring Game, which drew about 55,000 fans.
None of that seemed to matter. What may have really mattered to Dylan was that Nebraska is on a five-year streak of losing seasons. Five Husker assistant coaches had to be replaced during the off-season (four on offense and one on special teams).
Dylan is a '24 recruit and won't actually sign with the Buckeyes until December of '23. The soonest he could possibly play for the Buckeyes would be 2024 - more than two years from now. And in the world of college football, two years is a lifetime.
Maybe Dylan thought there were enough QBs on the Husker roster (there are six on scholarships). Maybe he didn't want to go to the same school his father did. Who knows?
If he completes his college football career at Ohio State, Nebraska may have to face him in the future. (The only time NU and Ohio State are scheduled to meet is Oct. 12, 2024, at Memorial Stadium. The Big Ten schedules don't go beyond the '25 season.)
It would be a stretch, but what if he gets to Ohio State and he doesn't like it there? What would happen if there's a coaching change in Columbus? What if the Husker QB room changes in the next year or so? What if Nebraska starts winning again? I know - it's a stretch. The transfer portal has changed and will continue to change the face of college football.
However, Nebraska has been on the winning side of a lot of father-son combos. Let's look at some of the more notable ones.
1) Larry Frost HB ('67-'69)
Scott, QB ('96-'97)
2) Johnny Rodgers WB ('70-'72)
Terry, IB ('86, '88-'89 )
3) Dean Steinkuhler OG ('81-'83)
Ty, DL ('05-'08)
Baker, DT ('09-'12)
4) Barney Cotton G ('76-'78)
Ben, TE ('09-'12)
Jake, OL ('11-'14)
Sam, TE ('13-'16)
5) Tom Ruud LB ('72-'74)
Barrett, LB ('01-'04)
Bo, LB ('04-'07)
Note: Former Husker LB John Ruud ('78-79) and DE Bob Martin ('73-'75) are uncles of Barrett and Bo.
6) Joe Blahak (CB ('70-'72)
Chad, CB ('95-'96)
7) Bill Kosch S ('69-'71)
Jesse, P ('95-'97)
8) Tony Davis FB ('73-'75)
Josh, IB ('01-'03)
9) Tom Banderas TE ('85-'87)
Josh, LB ('13-'16)
10) Dan Pensick DT ('77-'79)
Cole, OL ('10-'13)
11) Bill Lewis C ('83-'85)
Alex, OT ('14-'15)
12) Matt Hoskinson OL ('95-'97)
Sam, OL (RFr.)
13) Bob Lingenfelter OT ('74-'76)
Newton, OL (2005)
Cousins of Newton: Luke, OL (2011) and Ben, DL (2020)
14) Joe Buda C ('68-'69)
Grant, LB, Redshirted in 2021 (Grant is Joe's grandson)
15) Todd Fisher CB ('83)
Sean, LB ('09, '11-12)
16) Lance Brown WB ('95-'98)
Elliott, WR (RFr.)
For the record, Husker linebacker Grant Tagge is related to former Husker QB great Jerry Tagge, but there is no close bloodline connection.
This is just a partial list of former Husker father-son (or grandson) combinations. Let me know who else should be included. Email me at HuskerDan@cox.net.
How ’Bout Them Huskers
In our latest podcast episode, grandson Will and I talk about Dylan Raiola committing to Ohio State and RB Dylan Mostek (Bennington High School in Omaha) pursuing track at UNL. We also talk about the Huskers recruiting two Alabama defensive players, DL Stephon Wynn and Safety Kaine Williams. (Williams just committed to Nebraska this week.) Here's the link.
We also talk with Bill Williams who is a co-founder of Patriotic Productions. His organization has a couple of huge events coming up Memorial Day weekend May 27-28th in Omaha. Here's the link to learn more about the schedule: https://www.patrioticproductions.org/
Bill also shares a great but tragic story about what happened on one of the WWII Honor Flights to Washington DC. Do not miss this interview. Bill Williams and his wife, Evonne, are great Americans!