Predicting Texas football’s next 2023 commit after Cedric Baxter Jr.

Steve Sarkisian, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Steve Sarkisian, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Tausili Akana, EDGE

The real wildcard among the targets of the Longhorns 2023 class on this list is the highly touted four-star Skyridge (UT) edge rusher Tausili Akana. Texas is making a much bigger push in the recruitment of Akana since running into a bit of a rough stretch in pursuing edge rushers on the trail in the last couple of weeks.

Co-defensive coordinators/linebackers coaches Pete Kwiatkowski and Jeff Choate missed out on an important duo of blue-chip edge rusher targets in the Longhorns 2023 class since late July. These two blue-chip edge rushers Texas missed out on are four-star Austin-Westlake product Colton Vasek and four-star Friendswood product Braylan Shelby.

Texas lost Shelby to the USC Trojans and Vasek to the Oklahoma Sooners.

This dramatically heightened the priority that the Longhorns staff placed on the recruitments of both Akana and the elite five-star Venice (FL) edge rusher Damon Wilson.

At the moment, though, it looks like Akana would be the more realistic addition in the near future for the Longhorns 2023 class among these two edge rusher targets.

And while I’m not saying that Wilson is unrealistic for the Longhorns, the path to land his commitment wouldn’t be as straightforward as getting Akana in the mix.

Moreover, Texas has a huge opportunity to make a major impression on Akana and his camp when he officially visits Austin on Sep. 9, during the big-time game weekend between the Longhorns and Crimson Tide. That Sep. 9 official visit will be Akana’s second trip to Austin in 2022.

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If Texas can make a sizable move with Akana leading up to and on his Sep. 9 official visit to Austin, that might be enough for this coaching staff to start pushing to shut down this recruitment for the rest of the fall. But that will still take Texas really moving the needle with Akana, who still has the likes of the Sooners, Oregon Ducks, Nebraska Cornhuskers, etc. still involved in his recruitment.