Dylan Raiola is still more than two years away from suiting up for his first college football game.
And judging by his offer list, there is no guarantee he plays at Nebraska.
And yet, the No. 1 quarterback recruit for 2024 and the son of former Husker great Dominic Raiola was one of the most popular stars at Saturday's Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium.
How popular? Well, he was holding a baby for a photo op before the game. And he signed several autographs for fans coming to the railing behind the west sideline.
More than anything, Saturday was a day for observations. So, without further ado, here’s a whole batch from Parker Gabriel.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Raiola was donning Husker gear as he mingled with fellow prospects and others, including his uncle Donovan, who came over to give him a hug minutes before the game.
Raiola was not the only quarterback prospect in the house for Saturday's festivities. William Watson, who is committed to the Huskers' 2023 class, made the trek from Massachusetts.
Watson was standing behind the quarterbacks during pregame warmups.
Watson and Raiola, of course, won't be stepping onto the field immediately. One prospect that can is pass rusher Ochaun Mathis, and he was front and center Saturday.
The former TCU Horned Frog, one of the most sought-after transfers left in the portal, stood at midfield for most of Saturday's pregame warmups. He visited with current Huskers and former Huskers, too, including Jason Peter.
The Huskers welcomed prospects in droves this weekend, and that was clear looking at the sidelines Saturday. Before the game, prospects lined up around the 50-yard line on the east sideline and then snaked around the north end zone to the east side.
A few fresh faces made an early impression, as did a few potential breakthrough contributors rising through the program.
The group included highly ranked recruits, like four-star offensive tackle Bo Hughley, who is committed to Georgia, and four-star linebacker Phil Picciotti from Perkasie, Pennsylvania. It included key in-state prospects like Elkhorn South defensive end Maverick Noonan and Omaha North lineman Tyson Terry. Scottsbluff offensive lineman Brock Knutson, who just received an offer from Arizona State, also was in the house.
It turned out to be quite a day for Knutson, a three-star prospect. Before the scrimmage, CFL standout Yoshi Hardrick found him and, looked at his nametag and said, "You're from Nebraska?! Come on home, man! Come on home!" Hardrick didn't know at the time that Knutson didn't have a scholarship offer from the Huskers.
Knutson, though, was only offerless for a short while longer. He announced after the game that he had talked with head coach Scott Frost and earned a scholarship offer from the Huskers. He'll have the chance to join a class that already features in-state linemen Gunnar Gottula and Sam Sledge, both of whom were around Knutson on Saturday.
* Former Husker Abdul Muhammad had a group of high school kids from Omaha recognized before the game. As cool as that moment was for them, it was nothing quite like getting the chance to talk and learn from former Husker legend Rich Glover.
The gigantic media corps that covers Nebraska football never saw a single practice — until Saturday, that is. This isn't to complain, but we didn't learn much.
Glover talked to kids — he asked how many were going to be playing defensive line — about playing in the trenches, while another person reminded the kids that Glover recorded 22 tackles in the Game of the Century. "Twenty-two tackles … from a defensive lineman!"
* Moments later, former Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier, sharply dressed of course, spent a few moments with Glover. Just a few steps away was Trev Alberts signing autographs. Glory days, right?
* Dylan Raiola's father, Dominic, was on the sideline before the game wearing a "Run the damn ball" hat.