"It's a lot of fun actually," Jake Raulerson said. "I was skeptical about it at first, thinking that I was going to get some bad snaps. At the start it was rough, and then once I got in my groove, it just came naturally and as it progressed, I got my steps right. It's a lot harder to get a push at center, snapping the ball and then going. Setting an edge is what I'm good at, and getting around those guys on the zones …
"I'm doing well for my first day and we'll see what happens tomorrow and the next day," Raulerson said. "But I feel good at it, and at 250 pounds, I'm holding my own."
Raulerson said he tried to follow his dad's advice heading into the Army practices.
"Just to show out and play my best," Raulerson said. "Just do me. That's what my dad tells me to do is go do you. That's what you've been doing the whole time. Just play as hard as I can and have fun with it. The biggest thing is having fun."
The Army Bowl marks the last real high school event of Raulerson's football career, as the versatile lineman is headed to Austin as an early enrollee.
"I'll be there in like a week and a half, and it's going to be weird being down there and being away from my family, but I'm excited about it," Raulerson said. "I'm ready to go work hard and get a national championship, so we'll see what happens.
"Ever since I committed, every time I went back there, I guess you could say it's reminded me of why I went there," Raulerson said. "It's made it better each time I went down there, and I'm just ready to get down there with those guys and work my butt off."
Raulerson's passion for the Longhorns led him to become the class bell cow, pursuing other recruits to join him in Austin. His latest target? Scout.com's No. 2 running back, Derrick Green.
"I asked him if he was interested in Texas," Raulerson said. "He said yes, he just, he hadn't heard anything from them. And I said I could change that real quick. We lost a running back. We need a running back. So we'll see if we can get him to talk to Texas. It's a little late now, but we'll see what happens."
Raulerson also made sure to find his way over to soft Texas commitment A'Shawn Robinson.
"Talking to Robinson, he's pretty firm, I can tell," Raulerson said. "I've got a good feeling about him. And keeping the rest of those guys around, if anybody else is interested, a lot of these guys are committed. But I'm talking to everybody."
Though the Longhorns didn't live up to expectations in 2012, going 9-4, Raulerson said he was pleased by the way Texas closed out the year.
"There's a lot more to come. There's a lot better season coming next year. We're a young team, we're a good team. We had some rough patches — the Oklahoma game did not make me happy. We bounced back from that and we beat a very good Oregon State team.
"I don't care what anybody says, telling us we haven't beaten a premier team," Raulerson said. "We beat a top-15 team right there, No. 13 in the nation."
But as big as that win was, Raulerson was quick to point out that a season was largely defined by whether or not Texas wins the Red River Shootout.
"[It's] huge. It's a big, big, big thing," Raulerson said. "It really determines whether the season is really as successful as you want it to be. If you don't beat Oklahoma, you can only get to a certain point. If you get past Oklahoma, the sky's the limit. Really the turning point in the season is Oklahoma."