Q&A: Celina coach Bill Elliott

ESPN 150 offensive tackle Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) has remained one of the central figures of Texas’ 2013 recruiting class ever since he became its first commitment on Feb. 3.

Since that day there have been few, if any, Longhorns recruits who have shared his enthusiasm about wanting to get to Texas.

Raulerson can’t completely turn his attention to the next chapter in his life just yet as Celina plays a Class 3A third round playoff game against Henderson at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Mesquite’s Hanby Stadium.

But Bobcats head coach Bill Elliott, who lettered at TCU, was able to divert some of that attention for us:

HornsNation: Jake is such an emotional leader. What exactly has he meant to your program?

Bill Elliott: He’s an outstanding young man and will do everything he is asked to do. He always gives you his greatest effort. He works so hard and spends so much time in the weight room working outside of what we ask him to do. He has such a high motor and so much energy on the field. He just brings so much leadership to our team because of the way he works and the effort he gives in practice and games.

HN: Have you ever had to tell him to calm down?

Eliott: Oh yeah. I have had to tell him to settle down. He gets really excited. He has a high adrenaline level all the time so sometimes you do have to tell him to calm down.

HN: Jake had deviated septum surgery before the season to fix his sleeping issues. Have you seen a difference in him since the surgery?

Eliott: I think so. His energy level has been better since then. He’s starting to put some weight on, which is a result of that. His mind, he is a little more attentive now because he isn’t tired. He wasn’t able to sleep at night. I think that has helped that issue.

HN: There’s been plenty of discussion on where Jake will play at Texas: offensive tackle, offensive guard, center, defensive tackle, defensive end, tight end. Where do you see him playing?

Eliott: I think he’s an offensive lineman and I think he’ll possibly be a center. I think he could play guard. He’s going to put a lot of weight on the frame he’s got. He moves real well and has great use of his hands. He moves really well laterally.

HN: One of the “knocks” on Jake has been that he isn’t the ideal size for an offensive lineman, at least from a weight standpoint. I know that irritates him because he doesn’t see that being an issue. Do you?

Eliott: I came out of high school as a 245-pound tight end and by the time I was a senior I was 310 pounds and an offensive lineman. I was up to 280 pounds after my first year. Jake is built a lot like I was. He is probably bigger than I was. Once he gets into the weight program that Texas has and the regimen that they have. Our offseason involves a lot of running. We make all of our kids run track in the spring so he is doing track workouts. So that will help him to be able to gain some more weight.

HN: What if he did move to the defensive line? Do you think he would work out there too?

Eliott: I think he could do that to because of the use of his hands and the agility and quickness he has. Just because the way he is going to work I think they can mold him into several different positions.

HN: Does Jake remind you of anyone that you have coached or played with?

Eliott: Jamie Blatnick, the kid that we had that went up to Oklahoma State. He was an All-Big 12 player and defensive player of the week several times his senior year at OSU. He just does everything you are supposed to do. You never have to worry about what he does or where he is going to be. He has great technique and works on his technique. That’s just like Jake.