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January 5, 2004Southlake Carroll offensive tackle Adam Ulatoski made an early decision to join the Texas Longhorn program, and he hasn't looked back since. The nation's 23rd-ranked tackle prospect, Ulatoski, committed to Mack Brown and the Horns in April and he said this week that eight months later, he's more sure than ever that it was the right decision.
"I'm still very committed. There's no chance I'd look at anyone else," said Ulatoski. "Texas is always a good program. The education is really great there and I like Austin. If you're going to be living there for four or five years, you have to like the school and the location, not just the football."
The 6-6, 270-pound blue-chip recently completed his senior season with the Dragons, a campaign that saw Carroll advance to the state championship before falling to Katy, 16-15. Ulatoski does have one state championship under his belt (Carroll won the 2002 crown), but he said it's the camaraderie he experienced with his teammates that will stick with him.
"Our team was really close, like a family," he said. "I think I spent more time with them than I did with my own family. Just being a part of the team is what I remember most."
That same type of family atmosphere is something that the Longhorn program has become known for in recent years, and Ulatoski said he noticed the similarities right off the bat.
"That was a big part of my decision. All the players at Texas are really nice and they'll just come up and talk to you, make you feel welcome," he said. "That was a big part of it - the people. You have to have a good team atmosphere to win."
Ulatoski will take his official visit to Austin on January 16, along with fellow UT commits Jordan Shipley, Rashad Bobino, Derek Lokey and prized quarterback target Xavier Lee. Although his commitment is as solid as could be, Ulatoski continues to see mail trickle in from schools hoping to get their foot in the door.
"I don't even look at it," he said.
With the high school chapter of his football career now closed, the first-team all-state selection said his focused has turned towards finishing strong in the classroom and preparing for his life on the Forty Acres.
"I'm going to work out every day, work on my agility and get my feet quick. Plus I'll be in the weight room everyday," said Ulatoski. "Also, I want to do well in school. I want to finish up my senior year strong and get my grades right and everything. And then I just want to spend time with my family because I won't be seeing them as much when I'm down in Austin."
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