Celina (Texas) offensive tackle Jake Raulerson has come a long way since first playing center for his youth football team as a third grader.
“We lost every game that year,” Raulerson says. “I was just a little kid running around with my buddies.”
Fast forward to now, and Raulerson’s mindset has drastically shifted. To him, football is more than a game — “it’s a job.”
The Texas commit admits he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I can’t do anything without football now,” he says.
Raulerson’s investment in the game has cannonballed him into the national spotlight. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio’s Alamodome on Jan. 5.
How did Raulerson manage to take his little league passion to an even bigger league? The reality is all in the details, so he says.
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What do you credit for your uninterrupted drive?
It’s something my dad taught me at an early age. He said there are no shortcuts in life. You work for what you get. It’s a way of life. If you don’t start working hard from the beginning, you’re going to condition yourself to be lazy.
Tell us what hard work you’ve put in.
Going to every combine I could and outworking everyone I saw. It’s the little things — running at the front of the line, finishing a drill past the line when you’re running, not taking breaks. I work out at 5:30 a.m. at the gym at school.
Of all the training you do, what lift is most beneficial for your position?
The power clean. It’s the most complete exercise. It’s explosive, and you explode on the field all the time and use your hips to hit guys.
Watching film is part of the hard work you’ve invested. What is it you pay attention to and work to improve?
Technique. Watch how you’re blocking a guy, where you’re putting your hands, the kind of steps you’re making. You can then practice and change your approach to how you’re blocking, tackling, running or carrying the ball.
Reflecting on your progression throughout high school, what advice do you have for players who want to be successful?
Don’t take any days off. Put out maximum effort in whatever you’re doing — whether it’s working out, weightlifting or running. You can take your dreams as far as you want if you believe. Nothing’s given to you, so work hard at whatever you do and great things will happen.