Two days, two commitments.
The Texas Longhorns kept the recruiting train rolling Monday night, receiving a verbal pledge from Cypress Falls (Houston) linebacker Otaro Alaka. A national recruit who ranks among Rivals.com’s top 250 prospects for 2014, Alaka’s announcement comes on the heels of defensive tackle Courtney Garnett’s commitment barely 24 hours earlier.
A quick look at the highlight reel reveals Olaka to be a prototypical Big 12 linebacker prospect—equally adept in the both the run game and in pass coverage. And at 6’3″, 210 lbs., he appears to have the long, rangy frame that can carry additional weight without sacrificing any athleticism. The second linebacker commit of the 2014 class (the first being Dallas Carter’s Cameron Hampton), Olaka joins a young Longhorns LB corps that has the promise and potential to, for the sake of Texas fans’ sanity, ensure that the disaster of 2012 never happens again.
But beyond his on-the-field talents—and beyond his candidacy to join the 2014 Recruiting Class All-Name Team (fellow Texas commit Trey Lealaimatafao is already under consideration)—what’s most significant about Alaka’s commitment is who he did not choose—Texas A&M. In an SEC world, where the Heisman Trophy resides in College Station and “Johnny Football” is, for some reason, deemed a cool nickname, the Aggies are once again relevant—not only on a national stage, but in the hearts and minds of the state’s top recruits. No longer can Mack Brown roll out of bed, write out his recruiting wish list, and sign whomever he wants. It’s a street war that’s escalated quickly, full of horses, hand grenades, and tridents, and unlike Brick Tamland, this is no time for Mack and the Longhorns to lay low for a while. Winning on Saturday ultimately will determine the course of the two programs, but in the meantime, every head-to-head recruiting battle is crucial, and this one goes to Texas.
You stay classy, Otaro Alaka.
You can contact Brent Stoller at [email protected]