4-Star LB Otaro Alaka Spurns Texas A&M, Commits to Texas

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIApril 9, 2013

Another day brings the news of yet another commitment for the Texas Longhorns, and this time there are some major in-state implications.

According to Max Olson of ESPN.com, 4-star outside linebacker Otaro Alaka has committed to Texas, choosing the Longhorns over the Texas A&M Aggies:

The Houston Cypress Falls outside linebacker committed to Texas on Monday night, choosing the Longhorns over Texas A&M. He became commit No. 13 in Texas’ 2014 recruiting class and the Longhorns' fifth new pledge in the past 10 days. 

"It feels good to be a Longhorn," Alaka said. "I just want to thank God first of all and just thank my coaches, parents and teammates for everything. I just felt like I was ready to pick Texas. They have a great atmosphere, great people and great academics. I just really liked their coaches." 

It's no secret that Texas A&M has stolen the prestige and hype away from the Longhorns both on the field and in recruiting—at least in regards to college football in the state of Texas—and in-state recruiting has become crucial for both programs. 

For Texas, that statement is intensified considering the recent lull the program has fallen into. There was a time when it was a given that the Longhorns would at least be a major player for elite in-state recruits, but that time has come and gone.

Enter in the Texas A&M SEC era led by head coach Kevin Sumlin and sensational quarterback Johnny Manziel, and it's hard to deny the fact that the Aggies are trending upward.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Texas, but that's starting to change—at least in recruiting.

Mack Brown's program is riding a serious wave of recruiting momentum. Alaka's commitment represents Texas' 13th commitment to the 2014 class, 12 of those commitments coming from in-state recruits.

It's still extremely early, mind you, but it's worth noting that Texas' 2014 class is currently ranked No. 1 overall in the 247Sports Composite team rankings, followed by Texas A&M, Florida, LSU, Florida State and Ohio State.

That's elite company to be in, and there's no doubting the fact that Brown has the Longhorns back on track at least in terms of recruiting. 

The quick start is huge for the Longhorns, but holding onto these commitments will be equally as important, because we all know that finishing strong is the key to recruiting.

It's going to be interesting to see how these recruits respond to Browns' no-visit policy, especially considering that it's still incredibly early on in the 2014 recruiting cycle. If Texas has a good year on the football field there may not be much to worry about, but things will get really intriguing if the Longhorns struggle during the 2013 season.

This recruiting class could end up being a defining group for the Longhorns heading in to the next few years, so finishing strong is going to be integral, as will be competing with the Aggies on the in-state recruiting trail.

There's plenty of time for things to change, but so far, so good for Texas.

Lead photo courtesy of 247Sports.com

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