Texas Football: Introducing the Longhorns' Early Enrollees for 2013

Zach SheltonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2013

Texas Football: Introducing the Longhorns' Early Enrollees for 2013

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    With Signing Day still two weeks away, the Texas Longhorns already have a head start on maximizing their 2013 class with four early enrollees now on campus. All four have the potential to be major difference-makers for the 'Horns.

    Classes resumed this week at the University of Texas, with Tyrone Swoopes, Jake Raulerson, Deoundrei Davis and Geoff Swaim in attendance. Now the coaches will get the whole spring to bring up these four and assess which of them is ready for immediate contribution. 

    Here are your 2013 early enrollees and what to expect from their Longhorn careers.

QB Tyrone Swoopes

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    Quarterback prospect Tyrone Swoopes has been the face of Texas' 2013 class since committing last February, but he has something to prove after a disastrous senior season.

    When Swoopes committed to the Longhorns, fans immediately saw the second coming of Vince Young. The comparison is understandable, as Swoopes and Young are nearly identical in size and bring rare athleticism to the quarterback position.

    But Swoopes is not without his weaknesses. He is currently a below-average passer that completed only 42 percent of his passes last season en route to a 1-9 senior season. In fact, in the past year he has gone from being the nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect to completely falling out of the ESPN 300.

    This is no reason to panic, but Swoopes is going to need a lot of work before he is ready to play quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. And that is precisely what he is going to get now that he has given himself ample time to learn from new offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, who is a former Texas quarterback himself. 

    It will be huge for Swoopes to come in with a chip on his should and work to prove he is that one-in-a-million type of talent. If so, he could be in the discussion after his redshirt season.

OL/DE Jake Raulerson

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    One early enrollee that has a chance to make an immediate impact is Jake Raulerson, whose motor seems destined to get him on the field his freshman season.

    If Tyrone Swoopes is the face of this 2013 recruiting class, then Raulerson is certainly the voice. He has been as loyal a commit as they come, telling any fellow recruit that will listen to join him at Texas and supporting the 'Horns throughout the 2012 season.

    Raulerson is listed as a tackle prospect, but he could start out at defensive end because he is all effort, and there will be no lack of talent at tackle in 2013. Either way, Raulerson is guaranteed to see time on the field this season and to push his teammates every day at practice.

    If Texas is still serious about becoming more physical, having Raulerson in the fold all spring will certainly help.

LB Deoundrei Davis

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    No doubt about where linebacker Deoundrei Davis will play his freshman season, as he could very well use the Spring to crack into the two-deep rotation.

    Davis is Texas' only recruit at the position in this 2013 class but the coaches might have found the future at outside linebacker. Davis excels in coverage, has good instincts, finishes tackles and has the raw athletic ability to contribute immediately for this Longhorn linebacking corps.

    He needs to add some size before he sees the field, but Davis projects to produce in a similar capacity to Dalton Santos or Peter Jinkens in 2012.

TE Geoff Swaim

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    Junior-college transfer Geoff Swaim has flown under the radar throughout this recruiting season, but he is one skill away from being the tight end the 'Horns have been lacking.

    After Durham Smythe decommitted in December, Mack Brown and his staff were quick to get Swaim a week later. The signing not only gave Texas a ferocious blocker at 6'5" and 250 pounds, but possibly an every-down tight end that the team has lacked since Jermichael Finley.

    The difference between Swaim having a stellar career or a ho-hum one will be in how he develops as a receiver. According to the scouting report, Swaim has the potential to do just that, despite recording only nine catches in his final season at Butte College. It will be interesting to see how he looks in the Spring game after getting to work with the coaches all semester.

    Swaim will see time on the field for his blocking prowess no matter what. And if he becomes an accomplished receiver, Texas could have its own version of Rob Gronkowski patrolling the middle of the field.