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June 9, 2012

Competition drives Raulerson

MORE: R100 Five-Star Challenge details

Jake Raulerson loves to compete. He's been a regular at camps around the Lone Star State for the past few years. Set something up, get top competition involved and Raulerson is likely to attend.

In fact, a simple line in the dirt somewhere is enough for Raulerson. Tell him to get ready for some one-on-one drills as either an offensive or defensive lineman, and he'll race to the front of the line. It's in his blood. An personable and popular guy away from the field, Raulerson's switch flips when he needs to change into competitive mode, and he takes advantage of every chance he can to test his talents.

Later this month, at the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, Raulerson will have an opportunity to battle with the best. As one of 100 invited guests to the event, which will be held in Atlanta on June 22-24, Raulerson will join an elite group of athletes at the prestigious event and he's looking forward to the challenge.

"I'm ready to get some good competition, better myself and prove I'm not some scrub kid," Raulerson said. "It doesn't matter how much you weigh, it's about technique. That's what I'm about. I'm looking forward to proving some naysayers wrong."

At 6-5, Raulerson's weight is back to his normal mark of 250 pounds after losing some weight early this spring following surgery to repair a deviated septum. He's now back to near full strength, and he's ready to put in maximum effort in Atlanta. Raulerson, who prides himself on his versatility, is expecting to work at both offensive line and defensive line at the camp.

"I'm just trying to make myself better, tying to get to be the best I can be," he said. "To be the best, you have to beat the best."

The first commitment in the 2013 recruiting class for the Texas Longhorns, Raulerson has been an active leader in helping UT assemble a stellar recruiting class up to this point. He'll be joined by several future Texas teammates in Atlanta, and he said the entire group will have motivation to represent the Longhorn program well.

"I'm looking forward to that, just seeing who is going to be part of this class, trying to get a feel for guys, get to know them better," Raulerson said. "It's going to be very competitive. A lot of pride goes in with being from the state of Texas. It will be fun just competing with guys around the country. It's a big deal to go down with 100 of the best in the country, seeing what you're made of.

"There's going to be a lot of pride on the line. It's a big deal. It's a national camp, people are going to be watching. We're going to have to represent our state well and I'm looking forward to it."

A four-star prospect and Rivals100 member (No. 67 overall), Raulerson has been a known recruiting commodity around the Lone Star State for a couple years. He's hoping a strong performance at the Five-Star Challenge will increase his exposure on a national level and maybe give him a boost towards the coveted five-star status.

"Rankings are rankings and they're hard to judge. But yeah, I want to move up, compete to be the best I can be," Raulerson said. "That's something to push for. I'm not satisfied. I want to be the best. I always want to be getting better."

Whatever happens at the camp, it's a pretty safe bet Raulerson will be front and center when the coaches ask players to line up for one-on-one drills. As he says, you're not getting anything out of the event if you're hovering towards the back of the line.

"You're there for a reason. You're not there to stand in back. You're there to compete, have fun," Raulerson said. "I like to compete. I'm not going to sit back and just wait for my chance. I don't mind cutting in front of people. If they don't want to go, I'll go for them."

Mike Farrell's take

It will be interesting to see how big Raulerson is in person because on film he's not the biggest lineman in the world but he is very athletic, hits like a truck and is very physical and aggressive. He could play defensive end or offensive tackle at Texas but at the event he'll be showing off his offensive skill. With bull rushing frowned upon in one-on-ones, Raulerson could have a lot of success with his agility and footwork and arm extension, but there is little doubt linemen will try to get into his body and rock him off balance.



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