For the second consecutive year, the Texas Longhorns picked up a commitment before the first Junior Day weekend, securing a Friday pledge from one of the top players in the 2013 class, Celina OL/DL Jake Raulerson.
It was a pledge that had been in the work for weeks, if not months, with the kid called Maulerson simply waiting for the 2012 class to sign and receive their due share of attention before grabbing his own headlines with his commitment. He had hinted at it for weeks, telling multiple services that after a visit to Stanford, the Texas Junior Day was the only one he planned on attending.
A top national prospect who was probably approaching 30 offers, Raulerson may have committed early, but it wasn't without doing his due diligence. Besides the recent visit to Stanford, Raulerson took a whirlwind tour of the Southeast last summer, visiting numerous SEC schools.
Jake commits to Texas (via Gatordaze123)
Check out the video above of Raulerson calling Mack Brown to inform him of his decision. Cool stuff.
But in the end, Raulerson felt like Texas was the best fit for him ($), as he indicated to Erin Hartigan of Scout:
It was just talking to the coaches, talking to Coach Brown... Spent time with Jaxon Shipley, Josh Cochran, Quandre Diggs, a bunch of the guys... It just felt right. Everything. It felt like home. The whole visit was great."
To be a honest, a major factor was Coach Wylie, their strength and conditioning coach. He's incredible. He's going to make me into a monster, make me the best I can be. He's one of the main reasons I picked Texas, considering you spend 90 percent of your time with the strength coach.
Proximity to home was another big factor.
Many of Maulerson's opponents would probably argue that he's already a monster, so it's pretty scary to think about what he could become working with Wylie. Well, scary for Texas opponents, that is.
I mean, check this out:
The Hit (via Gatordaze123)
Horn Nation writer Carter Strickland summed up what the Texas coaches expect of Raulerson ($):
Now Texas has turned to him to be the lead recruiter in 2013, the player who not only elevates the class to top-five status, but helps bring in the players to do just that. This is what was explained to him as he sat at the breakfast table with Mack and Sally Brown as well as Texas president Bill Powers and his wife, Kim, two weeks ago. This is to be his role for 2013.
Raulerson explained to Scout what the coaches saw in him:
They loved my motor. They told me they plan on working me at defensive end and rotating me in at tight end for blocking situations and whatnot."
"They also like my personality. They call me their 'Bell Cow,' their leader. They know I'm a guy that's going to go out and recruit and help build the class. I'm honored to be a part of that. I'm very blessed to have everything that I have. It's been amazing.
And an amazing start to the 2013 class for Texas.
The only question now is where Raulerson will play when he gets to Austin. He stars on both sides of the ball for Celina and where his body takes him could ultimately determine where he plays. The 6-5, 250-pounder dominated on both sides of the ball at the 2011 Texas summer camp, with Bennie Wylie going as far as to say that Raulerson was the best offensive and defensive lineman at the entire camp after destroying many of the 2011 Texas commitments in attendance.
Jake Raulerson Junior Highlights 2011 - Offense (via Gatordaze123)
At this point, it seems that Raulerson will start out at defensive end and perhaps play some tight end situationally, with the possibility of moving to offensive line if his body fills out to the point where he has the mass to play there.
Jake Raulerson Junior Highlights - Defense (via Gatordaze123)
The bottom line is that he's just a flat-out football and maybe he's so old school that he could continue playing on both sides of the ball at Texas. Is there really any point in questioning whether or not he can do that?
Didn't think so.