Kirk Herbstreit says he “of course” did not sell Nebraska or tell Dylan Raiola not to go to Georgia.

The ESPN college football analyst found himself in hot water recently after Raiola’s father, Dominic, said in an interview with Rivals that Herbstreit called him up to discuss the 5-star Buford (Ga.) High quarterback’s recruitment. Raiola left Georgia’s class in December and signed with Nebraska two days later.

“When [Herbstreit] saw the smoke about Dylan entertaining Nebraska, he called me,” Raiola’s father said. “He said, ‘Dude, is this true? He’s got to do it.’”

On Thursday, Herbstreit dialed into The Paul Finebaum Show to clarify his comments.

“Why would I tell anyone to leave Georgia?” he told Finebaum. “Like Georgia is now — as we have talked about for the last couple of years – (has) become the bar in the sport. I love Kirby (Smart), and Kirby and I have a great relationship, so that’s kind of silly that I would do that.”

Instead, it sounds like Herbstreit was trying to offer perspective from someone who also played quarterback at the school their father attended.

Dominic was a Rimington Trophy-winning center and an All-American for the Huskers in the late 90s and early 2000s. He was a freshman in 1997 when Nebraska won the national championship, and then emerged as a pivotal player for the offense in the years that followed.

“It sounded like the family, out of respect for their love for Nebraska, was really torn. That’s what he sounded like,” Herbstreit said. “I just thought that, being a guy who went to Ohio State and a lot of that had to do with my dad, I just said, ‘Wow, the fact that your son can go to any school, any powerhouse that’s competing for national titles, and because of his respect for his own dad, he’s thinking about maybe going to Nebraska? A place that hasn’t competed for national titles in over 20 years? That says a lot about who the kid is, as far as what he wants to do.’

“… I just said, ‘Wow, that’s a powerful thing if he ended up doing that. But I of course did not sell Nebraska and try to tell anybody not to go to Georgia. That’s the most ridiculous thing that anybody would do. But I did compliment (Nebraska coach) Matt Rhule. If I’m guilty of anything, I said that Matt Rhule is a good coach and he’s a good man and I believe he will bring Nebraska back.”

At Nebraska, Raiola could very well start as a true freshman. His uncle, Donovan, is also at Nebraska as an offensive line coach. Despite any recent success, the Huskers had multiple selling points in their quest to sign Raiola. It’s unlikely any kind of conversation with Herbstreit — innocuous or not — tipped the scales in that recruitment.

Georgia, for its part, has also moved on. The Bulldogs’ top-ranked 2024 signing class featured 4-star quarterback Ryan Puglisi out of Avon (Conn.) Old Farms. Carson Beck is also returning in 2024 after throwing for 3,941 yards and 24 touchdowns last season.