- William Wilkerson, RecruitingNation
To gear up for 2013 national signing day, HornsNation’s William Wilkerson is breaking down every commitment in the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class.
Vitals: Offensive lineman Jake Raulerson, Celina, Texas/Celina | 6-foot-5, 262 pounds
Committed: Feb. 3, 2012; Already enrolled
ESPN.com grade: 84. Four-star recruit
ESPN.com rankings: No. 9 offensive tackle, No. 16 player in the Midlands region, No. 15 player in Texas, No. 113 player in ESPN 150
Picked Texas over: Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Stanford
State of the position: Simply put, Texas is stacked across the offensive line. It returns all five starters from 2013 in Donald Hawkins, Trey Hopkins, Dominic Espinosa, Mason Walters and Josh Cochran. Then you start to add in reserves like Kennedy Estelle, Sedrick Flowers, Garrett Greenlea, Taylor Doyle, Garrett Porter, Curtis Riser and Camrhon Hughes. There area a lot of former high school All-Americans in that list. That doesn’t even mention Darius James and Kent Perkins, the two highest ranked recruits in the class, or Rami Hammad, who had some 50 offers.
Pros: “Raulerson is a lean, but tough and athletic tackle prospect. He possesses good height with long arms and a frame with room for needed growth as he needs to continue adding bulk and improving upper- and lower-body strength. He displays very good hip and ankle flexibility as well as nimble feet and the big man runs well. He is a good physical run blocker. He demonstrates great first-step quickness to quickly get into defenders. He flashes the ability to fire out low, get under defenders' pads, roll his hips and generate immediate push off the line, but doesn't consistently yet knock defenders off the line of scrimmage. Gets good hand placement and can be tough to beat once he gets locked on, but he needs to improve his ability to control and turn defenders and much of this should improve as he continues to fill out his frame. He is capable of handling all run blocks and has good pull/trap potential and range. Demonstrates the balance to reach and block active first- and second-level defenders. He can work to the point of attack from backside and flashes excellent downfield agility and plays on his feet well. He's smart, a good chip blocker, handles movement well and can adjust to blocks on the run. He is a very physical and tough football player who possesses a nasty finishing attitude.” – ESPN scouting report
Cons: “Raulerson is a prospect with good tools and upside, but can be a bit inconsistent. He could land on defense in college, but his best fit still looks along the O-Line. Likely not an immediate contributor as he finds his ideal fit and continues to physically develop, but he could grow into a very good player at the BCS level.” – ESPN scouting report
Similar to/potential role: Mason Walters. Walters is not only one of the smartest linemen Texas has but he’s also the groups leader and one of its most fierce competitors. Raulerson will assume those same rolls the longer he is on campus.
Expected impact: 2013. Raulerson has been told by coaches that he will play in some capacity this season. He was recently told that he’ll move from defensive end to center to start out his career.
1dJake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon