Longhorns Land First in '13

Less than 48 hours after clinching the Top 2012 Class on National Signing Day, the Texas Longhorns get a jump start on their race for the 2013 title, receiving their first commitment from 4-star in-state lineman Jake Raulerson.

"I'm committing to Texas on February 3rd," reported the Celina (Tx.) native weeks ago.

Wait, in order to commit, you have to have an offer, right? And Texas doesn't offer until Junior Day Season.

Fact. For the majority.

"They normally wait until the first junior day," Raulerson explained, "but Coach Wyatt said they wanted me to be their first 2013 offer. I'm going to commit after Signing Day."

As I sat on the phone with him, I couldn't help but think that his recruitment was like a season of The Bachelor… in one episode.

The 6'5, 250-pounder held an offer from nearly every school in the country, a pile dating back to his sophomore season, quickly becoming one of college football's most-wanted.

And while he was honored and excited about each option in front of him- favoring Florida, Stanford, Ohio State, and Arkansas for some time- it was game over when the Longhorns entered the room.

Ok, not completely. Stanford did give them a run for their money.

After all, "It's Stanford," said Raulerson. "How can you not consider them?"

With this, Raulerson and his family immediately headed west to Palo Alto the weekend of Jan. 21, followed by a trip to Austin last weekend.

"It was definitely difficult," said Raulerson of the decision after both visits. "My mom loved Stanford. She loved it. The educational part of it, the whole bit… But my parents also loved Texas.

"In the end, they just want me to be happy. They respect my decision."

The lineman noted that while Stanford was "absolutely perfect" and he walked away "loving it," going to Texas was the ultimate indication.

"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."

He noted, "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."

And while the 2013 lineman was sold on the burnt orange, what sold the burnt orange on him?

"They loved my motor," said Raulerson, who has excelled on both sides of the trenches for Texas 3A powerhouse Celina High. "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."

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