Walter Rauterkus plays in a spread offense at Avon High School that thorws the ball around a lot, but also mixes in a variety of unique running plays. Sound familiar? It certainly was for the big tackle when he watched West Virginia play.
"I've watched West Virginia quite a bit, and when I came over for one of my visits I watched some film with [offensive line assistant] Coach Crook," Rauterkus explained. "There were a lot of things that looked the same, especially in the run game. At Avon, we pass it well -- that's sort of our go-to thing -- but we do a lot of run stuff as well."
With experience in the spread offense, Rauterkus has had the chance to work on both aspects of his blocking game. He thinks his pass protection is a bit ahead of his run blocking coming out of last year, but has plans to improve both during his senior season.
"One of my goals is to work on my run blocking and improve it," he confirmed. "I have gained some weight and strength since last year, and I think that will help me. I will be more confident, and I want to improve on everything."
As one of the bigger players throughout his career, Rauterkus has always played on the offensive line. He's firmly entrenched as Avon's left tackle, which shows that he has not only the size (6-6 1/2, 288 lbs.) but also the mobility to protect the edge of the pocket against pass rushers. He has worked on his footwork extensively, knowing that pass blocking would be a ticket to success, and as turned that into a Division 1 scholarship.
"We've had two players go to Division 1 last year from Avon, and now I'm going, so I feel like we are making our mark," the rising senior said.
Like most offensive linemen, Rauterkus is likely headed for a redshirt season, but he knows that fits with one of his main attributes.
"I think Coach Crook saw my potential," he said. "I don't think I'm done growing, and I can add a lot more weight with my size. I haven't gotten anywhere near my peak yet."
From his side of the recruiting game, the big Ohioan saw the lure of Big 12 play and West Virginia's facilities as major attractions. As he considered his future, he discussed those items and others with his family.
"I talked with my Mom and Dad about it, and I have been thinking about [committing] over the past couple of weeks. I called Coach Crook, and then I called Dana Holgorsen, and they asked me if I was fully committed. I told them I was, so that ended the process for me. I wanted to get committing out of the way so I could work on and enjoy my senior season."
Rauterkus, who plans to major in business, said he anticipates no trouble qualifying. He also offered an unequivocal 'I'm done', when asked about any further recruiting visits or activity.
Rauterkus is the tenth player on WVU's Class of 2014 Football Verbal Commitments