A lot of players say they love playing football, but after you talk to Celina (Texas) junior Jake Raulerson, you get the sense he truly means it.
The 6-foot-5, 253-pound right tackle/nose guard has felt that ever since he took up the sport in the third grade. And his passion for the game clearly shows on the field, where his combination of strength, athleticism and aggression has helped make him one of the nation’s top recruits.
Rated a five-star recruit in the Class of 2013 by RecruitingNation, Raulerson earned Class 3A All-State second team honors as a junior. And on Feb. 3, he committed to Texas over 27 other offers.
Raulerson said UT told him he could play anywhere from left tackle, center, defensive end or tight end for the Longhorns when he gets to Austin. He doesn’t have a preference for what position he plays — whatever gets him on the field to play the game he loves.
Get Familiar with this future Longhorn.
ESPNHS: When did you receive your first offer and how many are you up to now?
Raulerson: I’m at 28 offers. It’s pretty crazy. It’s been a great process and a lot of fun. My first offer was the summer of my sophomore year and I got offered by SMU. It was an awesome feeling knowing I’d be able to play college ball. I didn’t really think I’d have this many offers. It was definitely a shock when those kept coming in.
ESPNHS: What led you to pick Texas so early in the process?
Raulerson: I really like the coaching staff and it’s close to home. Coach (Mack) Brown is a very trustworthy guy. He promised me if I got hurt, they’d honor my scholarship and that’s huge. Not having to think about college, it gets the stress off me. Now I can focus on helping my team win a state championship.
ESPNHS: Where did the Texas coaching staff say you’d play for them?
Raulerson: They’ve talked to me about playing defensive end, tight end, left tackle and center. They said I was smart enough to be able to handle those positions. It’s humbling to hear that. It all depends on how I fill out. I don’t have a preference. Whatever gets me on the field and helps my team win a championship.
ESPNHS: What do you like about playing on the line?
Raulerson: It gives you the chance to knock someone in the mouth. It’s a lot of fun to get your aggression out. You don’t get a lot of credit, but you’ve got to be a man to play on the line.
ESPNHS: Can you describe what playing football means to you?
Raulerson: Football turns boys into men. It makes you a mature person and teaches you life skills. It gives you a feeling you don’t ever really feel. Football is life. If you don’t play 100 percent all of the time, you’re going to have regrets, and I don’t want to have regrets. The one quote that sticks with me is from New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton when he said in the Kenny Chesney video for “The Boys of Fall,” “You’ve got plenty of time for tomorrow. But these tonights, they’re going by fast. You focus on tonight.”
School: Celina (Texas)
Position: Right tackle/nose guard
TV Show: “How I Met Your Mother”
Movie: “Remember the Titans”
Athletes: Ray Lewis & Tim Tebow
School Subject: Physics
Team: Dallas Cowboys