Top 2013 Prospect Talks AU Offer, Visit

Expected to be one of the top 2013 prospects, Jake Raulerson discusses his visit to Auburn and getting an offer from the defending national champions.

Celina, Tex.—Expected to be one of the top players in the country for the Class of 2013, big Jake Raulerson took an unofficial visit to see the Auburn Tigers on Friday and left with some good news from Coach Gene Chizik and his staff.

"They told me I have an offer now," Raulerson said. "They offered me so that's really exciting. I'm a big SEC guy. I have always liked the SEC and always watched the games. I'll be down to some games for sure.

"It's a great feeling," he added of the offer. "When I got my first offer from SMU that was an unbelievable feeling. Once you get one from a big-time SEC school there is no feeling like it. It's a great experience to be able to get an offer from a SEC school like Auburn and the National Champions. I think it's awesome."

A powerful 6-5, 250-pounder, Raulerson took the visit to see the Tigers and will be in Tuscaloosa on Saturday to see Alabama as well. Spending Friday on the Plains getting a chance to see the campus and facilities and talk to the coaches, he said things could not have gone any better on his first trip to Auburn.

"I had a great experience," Raulerson said. "I got to talk to all the coaches. First off I got to meet with Coach (Jeff) Grimes. He talked to me a little bit about what Auburn has to offer. I thought one of the greatest parts about the trip was getting to meet Coach (Gene) Chizik.

"He was an awesome guy. He talked about the different things they liked about me. He said they loved the way I move and the way I run. He basically said he thought I was a player that can play there. I got to meet Coach (Trooper) Taylor and he's crazy. It was a fun experience to get to go there.

"It was just real cool to be able to see all the facilities and everything they've got. I think Auburn is a beautiful campus and a great place to be. I got to see the stadium and the locker room. I got to meet the strength coach (Kevin Yoxall). I think they are a great program with great things to offer. "

One of the things that made Raulerson's visit to Auburn feel even more like home was the fact that so many of the coaching staff have ties to Texas. Of course Chizik was an assistant for the Longhorns, but he's far from the only one. With the exception of Gus Malzahn, every offensive assistant on Auburn's staff was born in and played at least high school football in Texas. Raulerson said that's something that hits home with him.

"They are all from Texas and they all know where I'm coming from," Raulerson said. "They all have first-hand experience with Texas and how different and what the transition is from the Texas atmosphere to the SEC. They all said there is nothing like it. They said the SEC is unmatched and a great place to be."

Already with offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU and Vanderbilt in addition to Auburn, Raulerson is off to a strong start very early in the recruiting process. In addition he's being recruited as not only a left tackle, but also as a defensive end, defensive tackle and even center. He said having that many options not only in terms of a school, but also position makes it a great opportunity.

"Coach Chizik told me he wanted me as a defensive end to start out with," Raulerson said. "Coach Grimes told me he wanted me as an offensive tackle.

"It's very hard to be able to pick out the options because I have been to all these colleges and it's very hard to determine which one you're going to," he added. "I've got a couple of years, but to be able to have options is an amazing feeling. It's going to be a tough decision by the end of it."

Planning to make a decision sometime next summer before his senior year begins, Raulerson said he has several specific things in mind that he's looking for in his future home.

"I've got have a good relationship with the coach for sure," Raulerson said. "I have to like where I'm living and the atmosphere where I'm playing. I have to want to be there. One of the most important things is loving the coach I'm with. He is going to be my dad for the next four years so I've got to have a good relationship with the coaches."

While it's still a long, long way until Raulerson will be able to sign his Letter of Intent and likely a long time before he even makes a verbal commitment, there is no question that his visit to Auburn made a lasting impression on the big-time prospect from the Lone Star State.

"Great school," he said. "Great facilities. Great coaching. Their coaches are awesome. They are great guys to be around. It just seems like a real awesome college atmosphere."

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