4-Star EDGE Tausili Akana ‘heavily considering’ Texas football over OU

Jeff Choate, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY NETWORK
Jeff Choate, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY NETWORK /

While a massive commitment did arrive on the night of Dec. 15 which is a huge deal for the 2023 Texas football recruiting class, the work for this cycle is not done yet for head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff. In fact, it looks like Sark and his staff are just getting started in terms of where this particular wave of momentum could take Texas’ 2023 recruiting class.

On Dec. 15, the Longhorns hauled in a commitment from the former Texas A&M Aggies pledge and elite five-star Denton Ryan linebacker Anthony Hill Jr. Hill was the biggest remaining target on the radar of the Longhorns 2023 class this fall ahead of the start of the Early Signing Period (Dec. 21).

Word on the street is that the Longhorns’ defensive staff is going to be able to really round out the 2023 class on a high note. Not only did Texas reel in the No. 1 ranked linebacker in the nation in the 2023 class, but it also is looking to get a couple more key pieces in place as we head into the first National Signing Day of the cycle.

It looks as if the highly touted four-star Skyridge (UT) edge rusher/outside linebacker Tausili Akana is still very much in play for the Longhorns. According to a report from Inside Texas on Dec. 16 (paid content), the Longhorns are “playing the long game” with Akana.

Akana is reportedly “heavily considering” the Longhorns over the Sooners as the first National Signing Day approaches next week.

And it sounds like that could pay dividends in the near future as the tide could be shifting for Texas in the race to land a commitment from Akana.

Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports also reported that the Texas staff still “would love” to add Akana to the 2023 class, indicating that a spot could still be available for the blue-chip edge recruit.

For a good while there, the Oklahoma Sooners were trending as the favorite to land Akana. Oklahoma started to gain momentum in the race to land a commitment from Akana after his official visit to Norman back in mid-October.

Texas football firmly back in the race for 4-Star EDGE Tausili Akana?

Oklahoma also looked to be the school that was placing the highest priority on Akana’s recruitment among the presumed finalists. It seemed like Texas was starting to back off in the last couple of months.

Meanwhile, the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M started to fall behind Texas and Oklahoma during the fall. Texas and Oklahoma have continued to battle it out as the top two schools in Akana’s recruitment in the last few weeks from what we’ve heard.

Both of the Red River rivals have good relationships built with Akana and his camp. Head coach Brent Venables has personally invested a lot of time in the recruitment of Akana for the Sooners.

And co-defensive coordinators/linebackers coaches Jeff Choate and Pete Kwiatkowski kept their foot on the gas in this recruitment throughout the fall. It’s also worth noting that Akana’s sister plays for the Texas volleyball team, which is about to compete in the National Championship this week.

Akana is also good friends with the four-star Texas linebacker commit and fellow Kahuku (HI) native Liona Lefau. From what we can tell, Lefau has consistently recruited Akana to the Forty Acres in the last few months.

All in all, if Akana is planning on signing his National Letter of Intent during the Early Signing Period next week, this recruitment is going to get very interesting in the next few days. Neither Texas nor Oklahoma looks to have a clear edge here. But it does sound like Texas is putting up a much bigger fight in this recruitment than we once presumed them to be just one month ago.

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Texas currently holds commitments from 22 high school recruits in the 2023 class after landing Hill on Dec. 15. There are a half-dozen linebackers and/or edge rushers committed to the Longhorns 2023 class at the moment, highlighted by Hill and the highly touted four-star Austin Westlake edge rusher Colton Vasek.