Just over a week away from National Signing Day, UCLA has landed a recruit who should immediately compete to start.
On Monday, former Texas center Jake Raulerson announced that he will join the Bruins as a graduate transfer to finish out the last two years of his college career. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound lineman will become one of the veterans on a UCLA offensive line that must replace three starters.
Raulerson started four games at center for Texas in 2014 as a redshirt freshman, including a 20-17 loss to the Bruins at AT&T Stadium, and served as the team’s backup center in 11 appearances this past season. That experience could make him the frontrunner to replace longtime UCLA center Jake Brendel, who set a school record with 52 career starts over the past four seasons.
— Jake from Statefarm (@JakeRaulerson55) January 25, 2016
The other candidate to replace Brendel is redshirt junior Scott Quessenberry, who sat out all of last season recovering from shoulder surgeries. When Brendel missed the 2014 season opener due to injury, it was Quessenberry who moved into the starting lineup.
If Raulerson is capable of manning the middle, however, that would allow Quessenberry to remain at guard, where he has spent the bulk of his UCLA career. The Bruins are also seeking to replace starting offensive linemen Alex Redmond and Caleb Benenoch, both of whom declared for the NFL draft.
Raulerson also considered transferring to schools such as Oregon and Michigan, but had a preexisting relationship with UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm as a four-star recruit out of Celina (Texas) High in 2013. He is the fourth recruit to commit to the Bruins in the last eight days, following four-star quarterback Devon Modster, three-star defensive lineman Jake Burton, and three-star safety Keyon Riley.