ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit is best-known for what he does on television as a college football analyst, but he’s catching some heat for — allegedly — some far more direct interaction with the sport.
Georgia fans aren’t happy with Herbstreit after reports emerged suggesting he flipped the commitment of top-three quarterback recruit Dylan Raiola.
Here’s what to know about the situation.
What role did Kirk Herbstreit allegedly play in Dylan Raiola switching to Nebraska?
Former Lions lineman Dominic Raiola, the father of college quarterback Dylan Raiola, recently told Rivals.com that Herbstreit reached out to him to support the notion of his son flipping his commitment from Georgia to Nebraska.
Dylan originally committed to play for Georgia during his junior year of high school. He flipped his commitment to the Cornhuskers on Dec. 18, 2023.
Herbstreit reportedly played a role in that decision, Dominic told Rivals.
“When this was happening, I will bring up one guy’s name. His name’s Kirk Herbstreit,” Dominic Raiola said. “When he saw the smoke about Dylan entertaining Nebraska, he called me. He said, ‘Dude, is this true? [Dylan] got to do it. He got to do it.’ [Herbstreit’s] affinity for Nebraska, for a guy like that to tell me and get behind me. Like, I knew, I knew [Dylan] needed to do it.”
Dominic Raiola himself didn’t seem to want to place himself in the position of telling his son where or where not to play out his college career, but he does seem satisfied in the final decision Raiola made.
“But I wasn’t going to sit here and say, ‘You need to go change that place or be a part of the change of that place.’… I had other coaches reach out to me and say, ‘The place is special. Coach (Matt) Rhule is a special leader.’ It just snowballed into something really beautiful at the end of the day, and we’re really proud of the decision [Dylan] made,” Raiola said.
— Rivals (@Rivals) February 7, 2024
Dominic Raiola was a former All-American at Nebraska, so it makes sense that he’d be pleased with his son heading to the same place. But, all of that aside, some still view Herbstreit’s actions as unethical.
Kirk Herbstreit gives his side of the story
Herbstreit defended himself as the allegations emerged.
He denied allegations he interfered in Raiola’s decision, calling the thought of him trying to persuade a recruit to flip his commitment “ridiculous.”
“I, of course, did not sell Nebraska and try to tell anybody not to go to Georgia,” Herbstreit said in an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show. “That’s the most ridiculous thing anybody would do.”
He says what he did do, though, was complement Matt Rhule.
“If I’m guilty of anything I said that Matt Rhule is a good coach and he’s a good man. I believe that he will bring Nebraska back like the way he did Temple and Baylor.”
Kirk Herbstreit gives his take on the phone call he had with Dylan Raiola’s dad before the QB recruit flipped his commitment from Georgia to Nebraska pic.twitter.com/W7fWbSrKHq
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) February 8, 2024
Who is Dylan Raiola?
Raiola is the No. 2 quarterback in the Class of 2024 and the No. 7 prospect in the nation, according to 247Sports.
He originally committed to the Bulldogs during his junior year of high school, with the family packing up and leaving for Georgia so he could play his senior year in the same state he was expected to play college football.