The UT football team officially gained four new members this week, as early enrollees made their way to the 40 Acres. The athletic department issued a statement on Sunday that Jake Raulerson, Tyrone Swoopes, Deoundrei Davis, and Geoff Swaim had all enrolled for the spring semester as the first members of the 2013 recruiting class.
Of the bunch, Celina athlete Jake Raulerson has perhaps the most ambiguous football future. At 6-foot-5, 262-pounds, Raulerson played offensive tackle in high school, but is listed by mackbrown-texasfootball.com as an outside linebacker/defensive end. Playing defense would probably be Raulerson’s most direct path to immediate playing time, as concerns about his size and ability to gain weight could hinder his development as a Division 1 offensive lineman. Wherever he plays though, Raulerson’s greatest assets may be his intangibles. Coaches and scouting services rave about his leadership ability, and he was named as one of the West’s team captains at the U.S. Army All American Bowl.
Another AAA Bowl honoree, Whitewright dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, comes to Austin as a bit of an enigma. Though some have compared him to Vince Young in terms of physical stature and ability, Swoopes will have to improve his throwing motion in order to reach the heights that Young did while at Texas. In all likelihood, Swoopes will redshirt for the 2013 season, then compete with Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet for the starting job in 2014. Swoopes has not yet arrived in Austin, but should be here by Thursday, according to his Twitter account.
Cypress Woods’ Deoundrei Davis had earned the right to join Raulerson and Swoopes at the AAA Bowl, but those plans were derailed by injury. Davis tore his ACL in an October 5 game against Cypress Springs. Though the outside linebacker is expected to make a full recovery, his availability for spring practice is in doubt. How fast Davis heals will play a large role in deciding how much of an impact he can make in an already crowded Texas linebacker corps.
The early enrollee expected to make the most immediate impact, however, is one of the class’ least heralded. Geoff Swaim played most recently at Butte Community College in Oroville, CA. With only two years of eligibility left, Swaim will be expected to perform right away. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end is known mostly for his blocking ability, and functioned primarily as an H-back at Butte. After the December decommitment of Durham Smythe (the pass-catching tight end from Belton), however, Swaim may also play a more significant role in the passing attack than was previously intended by the coaching staff.