Recruiting 2023: Carver Atlanta at Buford
For the first time, the state of Georgia gets a chance to see the No. 1 prospect in the country, 5-star QB and future Georgia Bulldog Dylan Raiola in a Buford uniform when tonight the top-ranked Wolves host the Carver Atlanta Panthers. Join us as we kickoff week three of our 2023 GPB Sports Football Fridays in Georgia schedule from Tom Riden Stadium in Gwinnett County. Coverage starts 7:30 p.m. on GPB-TV.
Raiola transferred to Buford from Pinnacle High School in Phoenix in large part because he was only going to get to play half the regular season if he stayed in Arizona. That was also because of a transfer. The Arizona Interscholastic Association suspended Raiola for five games because of the organization’s transfer policy after he had transferred from Chandler High School to Pinnacle at the end of last season.
His father Dominic filed for a hardship hearing, but the case would not have been heard until eight days before the start of the Arizona high school regular season and after talking with the Pinnacle coach, the Raiola’s were convinced Dylan would likely not win the appeal.
That’s when the Raiolas started looking for options and since Dylan had committed to the Georgia Bulldogs May 15, moving closer to his soon-to-be college home made sense. Not just for Dylan but also for his younger brother Dayton, who is a 6-3, 205-pound sophomore quarterback and listed No. 2 on the Wolves depth chart behind his 6-4, 220-pound senior brother.
Now their father Dominic is no stranger to the process. He starred for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, was an NFL second-round draft pick and played 14 seasons in the league with the Detroit Lions.
As for Dylan, he originally committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes last December before changing his mind to the Bulldogs. He’s off to a good start with 3-0 and 7A No.1 Buford, completing close to 60-percent of his passes for right-at 155 passing yards-per-game with six touchdowns and no interceptions.
In Buford he joins the state’s team of the 21st Century with 13 of the Wolves 14 state championships and 18 of its 21 state championship game appearances coming in the 22 years since we stepped into the 2000s. That doesn’t figure to change any time soon with a roster that includes three five-star prospects (including Raiola), seven four-stars, nine three-stars and 33 total players with college scholarship offers.
Buford will be a heavy favorite tonight against Atlanta’s Class 3A Carver Panthers. But pound-for-pound this is one of the grittiest, toughest teams in the state, always willing to take on a challenge. Every team that Carver faces in its non-region schedule is in a higher classification except for their next game when the Panthers host Peach County, which has won three state championships in its great history.
Carver coach Darren Myles doesn’t believe in playing easy games. He knows he could probably put together an easier schedule, but he doesn’t feel that would do the Panthers any good when it came time to play in 3A’s toughest league -- Region 5. The last two championships games in the state have been all Region 5-3A matchups with Cedar Grove defeating Carver in 2021 and then Sandy Creek beating Cedar Grove in a controversial finish last year. And once again the Panthers were right again at the end losing to the eventual state champs in the semifinals.
This will be the third time Carver and Buford have played in the last four years. A rivalry born out of necessity and friendship. Because of their success, both the Panthers and Wolves struggle to put together non-region schedules. And the friendship. Coach Myles worked with Buford coach Bryant Appling’s mother at Bethune Elementary and Appling calls Myles a mentor to him since the 10th grade.
So, the game has a bunch of interesting storylines not to mention a load of future college football talent. Here’s a look at the top prospects to watch.
Carver Atlanta Panthers
Rodrick Hunter – 5-10, 175, Senior – Committed to Akron over three other offers including Western Kentucky – Highest Ranking: 247 Sports 3-Star Safety
Joshua Stone – 6-0, 171, Senior – Committed to Arkansas State June 25 over nine other offers including UAB and App State – Highest Ranking: 247 Sports 3-Star Safety
Buford Wolves (In addition to Raiola)
K.J. Bolden – 6-1, 190, Senior – Committed to Florida State August 5 over 45 other offers including Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and Clemson – Highest Ranking: On3 Recruits No. 1 Safety in the country, No. 1 Prospect in Georgia, and No. 9 overall prospect in the nation.
Eddrick Houston – 6-4, 270, Senior – Committed to Ohio State August 22 over 39 other offers including Georgia, USC, Alabama, and Clemson – Highest Ranking: Rivals 5-Star, No. 3 DL in the country and No. 4 prospect in Georgia.
Jadon Perlotte – 6-4, 215, Junior – Committed to Georgia December 8, 2022, over 31 other offers including Florida State – Consensus 4-Star – Highest Ranking: ESPN No. 3 LB in the country 2025 and No. 8 prospect in Georgia.
Devin Williams – 5-10, 165, Junior – 31 offers including Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn – Consensus 4-Star – Highest Ranking: On3 Recruits No. 5 CB 2025 and No. 11 prospect in Georgia.
Bryce Perry-Wright – 6-3, 255, Sophomore – 26 Offers including South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Tech – Highest Ranking: 247 Sports 4-Star and No. 6 DL in the country 2026 and No. 7 prospect in Georgia.
Brayden Jacobs – 6-5, 310, Junior – 23 offers including South Carolina and Alabama – Highest Ranking: Rivals 4-Star and No. 6 IOL in the country 2025 and No. 6 prospect in Georgia.
Ty White – 6-0, 185, Senior – Committed to North Carolina July 4 over 45 other offers – Highest Ranking: Rivals 4-Star and No. 7 CB in the country.
Justin Baker – 5-9, 200, Junior – 19 offers including Michigan – Highest Ranking: Rivals 4-Star and No. 22 RB in the country 2025.
Mantrez Walker – 6-1, 220, Junior – Committed to Michigan February 11 over 24 other offers including South Carolina and Arkansas – Highest Ranking: Rivals 4-Star and No. 12 LB in the country 2025.
Jaylen Neal – 6-0, 180, Senior – Nine offers including Arkansas – Highest Ranking: On3 Recruits 3-Star Athlete
Nicco Maggio – 6-2, 270, Junior – Nine offers including Duke – Highest Ranking: ESPN 3-Star and No. 24 DL in the country 2025.
M.J. Dillard – 6-5, 263, Senior – Committed to Vanderbilt over 15 other offers including Michigan – Consensus 3-Star DL
Kobi Blackwell – 5-9, 180, Senior – 12 offers including Duke and Michigan State – Highest Ranking: On3 Recruits 3-Star Athlete
Devin Forrester – 6-4, 280, Senior – Eight offers including Georgia Tech – Highest Ranking: ESPN 3-Star OT
Kenyon Rivera – 6-2, 200, Junior – 19 offers including Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and Middle Tennessee – Highest Ranking: On3 Recruits 3-Star LB
Christian Langford – 6-2, 186, Junior – Offered by UCF, Troy and Liberty – Highest Ranking: On3 Recruits 3-Star QB
Jordan Allen – 5-8, 160, Junior – 14 offers including Georgia – Highest Ranking: Rivals 3-Star Athlete
Bryson Banks – 5-11, 220, Senior – Committed to James Madison over 10 other offers including Georgia State and Georgia Southern – Highest Ranking: 247 Sports 3-Star LB
Aaron Holloway – 6-2, 215, Junior LB – 12 Offers including Penn State, Tennessee and Maryland
Osiris Gilbert – 5-10, 160, Junior Athlete – Nine offers including Georgia Tech, Georgia, and Florida State
James Morrow – 6-3, 215, Sophomore DE – Nine offers including Georgia.
Ben Mubenga – 6-5, 240, Sophomore DL – Nine offers including LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss
Nassir McCoy – 5-11, 185, Sophomore Safety – Nine offers including Auburn.
Graham Houston – 6-4, 265, Sophomore – Five offers including FSU and Clemson
Dylan McCoy – 5-10, 185, Sophomore RB – Offered by Ole Miss
Darius White – 5-8, 180, Freshman RB – Offered by Arkansas
Maverick Schippman – 5-10, 215, Senior RB – Offered by Liberty, Navy, and Army
Caleb Tetteh – 6-2, 220, Senior DE – Offered by UConn and Alabama State
Dale Greene – 6-4, 280, Senior OL – Committed to Western Carolina over four other offers including Memphis.
Chris Garland – 5-11, 165, Junior CB/WR – Offered by Yale
Jeremiah Colbert – 5-10, 185, Senior WR/CB – Ten offers including Georgia State, Middle Tennessee, and Ole Miss
Cannon Goldin – 6-0, 180, Senior Athlete – Committed to Ole Miss Baseball – Prep Baseball Report No. 1 prospect in Georgia 2025 a No. 4 OF in the country.
So, join Wayne Gandy, Jon Nelson, Hannah Goodin and me for our Emmy Award-winning Football Fridays in Georgia Game of the Week as the Buford Wolves host the Carver Atlanta Panthers starting at 7:30 p.m. Remember at halftime Hannah will highlight this week’s Make That Kid an Offer nominees.
You can watch Football Fridays in Georgia in so many ways. You have traditional TV (GPB), online at GPB.org, GPB Sports app, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch.
Now if somehow, you miss it live or just want to watch it again, don’t worry, we replay the entire Football Fridays in Georgia Game of the Week at 11:30 p.m. or you can watch it on demand anytime at GPB.org.
Enjoy your Football Friday in Georgia!