So here we go with the inaugural BON recruiting edition of "My Guys." Every fall, one of PB's favorite posts revolves around picking his top five favorite players ready for a breakout season. The intention behind the recruiting version of "My Guys" is for each of the three members of the recruiting team here at BON to choose their five favorite players in the 2013 class in a draft-style format -- the core players who will represent the top targets for Texas entering the Junior Days in February, a time not particularly far into the distance.
Round 1, Pick 1 -- GoBR
Whitewright quarterback Tyrone Swoopes
So, my first pick is not a particularly difficult one. When NFL teams start a franchise, the first building block is always the quarterback. So it is too in this recruiting draft.
It's easy to make lazy comparisons to Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor when encountering 6-5, 220-pound athletic freaks, but with Swoopes, it doesn't take many plays to confirm that comparison as more accurate than lazy.
The nephew of former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, Tyrone demonstrates the same prowess on the basketball court as he does on the football field. While it's unfair to Swoopes to call his running ability VY-esque, he's certainly the type of athlete who can glide past defenders, with his time spent on defense for 2A Whitewright also confirming that his physicality striking opponents translates to the offensive side of the ball as a tough runner capable and willing to take on contact.
As a passer, one play comes quickly to mind. When Swoopes first surfaced on the radar this spring, the signature play on the random Maxpreps highlights available from one game was a roll out to the right where Swoopes bombed the ball 60 yards downfield, only overthrowing his intended target Gerron Bellard by several feet, turning a sure touchdown into simply a spectacular diving catch.
All told, it was the type of play that made my jaw drop to the floor. College recruiters often say that with the elite players, it only takes a handful of plays to not that the kid's a take. It took about one with Swoopes.
Given his competition and the resultant need for growth understanding the position, Swoopes might be a long-term project at the quarterback position, but mark these words -- the kid is a quarterback all the way and has all the ingredients for a future collegiate star. With depth at the position in Austin vacating the premises, Swoopes becomes not only a more important target, but also a more viable target. Work your magic Harsinwhite.
Gimme, gimmegimmegimme. And how about promises of a Swoopes package early in his career? Tantalizing.
You're up next Austin.
Round 1, Pick 2 -- BFLT
Fort Worth Arlington Heights OT/DT A'Shawn Robinson
I wanted to start with a cornerstone on the offensive line, and Robinson projects as a dominant OT. Offensive tackles that also play basketball are rare. At the prep level, most young men that are large enough to play offensive tackle can't carry their weight well enough to also play basketball. Robinson by all accounts is an excellent basketball player and moves very fluidly on the court. His athleticism, foot speed, footwork and fluidity are evident in Robinson's film. He also shows good knee bend and pad level.
Most importantly, Robinson is nasty. He finishes every block by driving his man backward and to the ground. He's not a gentle giant out there. The mean streak comes out in the film.
Texas is likely the leader at this point. Robinson will be at the RRR, and Texas is the only school he has visited this fall.
Round 1, Pick 3 -- GHG90
Celina OL/DL Jake Raulerson
I'm psyched to get to talk about my favorite player in the entire class, Jake Raulerson of Celina. This is the kind of kid that every coach in the country wants on his team because he works his ass off on and off the field. He's also the kind of player everybody on the opposing team hates because of his violent disposition and propensity for destroying multiple defenders on one play.
Raulerson can play both on offense and defense, and likely projects to either interior OL or 3-4 LB down the road in the NFL. Maybe 4-3 DE.
Offensively, "Maulerson" will need to add weight to play on any part of the line in college, and if/when he does, I project him to the interior. He's precisely the kind of guard Texas was lacking over the Colt McCoy era -- brutal in run blocking, fast off the ball, athletic enough to easily engage defenders in pulling situations, and generally pissed at the other team for existing. I may even go so far as to conjecture he'd help his QB up after being sacked, assuming he ever allowed one.
The first play of his highlight video on YouTube is so beautiful it almost makes me want to weep. Run to his side. He grabs the playside linebacker and drills him backwards so hard he ends up knocking down the playside safety en route to the easiest touchdown you've ever seen for the tailback.
Defensively, he plays with great pad level and burst off the line -- just like he does on offense. He gets into gaps quickly to disrupt plays and also has the strength to bullrush opposing lineman from the DT spot. Saban would turn this guy into a flat-out monster at LB. So, here's hoping Raulerson doesn't have any prior inclination toward Satanic rituals or Slick Nick's snaky sweet nothings will be nigh impossible to combat.
Jake is really high on Texas and I expect him to be one of our, if not the, top targets. Like many 2013 recruits who are less position-defined than usual, the key to Raulerson is getting him on campus then finding out where he fits best. I'd personally pay to see the shit show between Searels and Giles/Davis when Raulerson picks one side of the ball over the other.
Getting him in the fold early would be a huge boon to the 2013 class, as Jake (and a few other guys like Tyrone Swoopes and Ricky Seals-Jones) seem like kids who would be active recruiters for their class that other recruits just gravitate toward. Think C-Brew and Cayleb Jones for 2012. #TGOD
So there you go, the first round is in the books. Stay tuned for the next five. Agreements, disagreements? Who you got, BONizens? --GoBR