4-Star OT Prospect Rafiti Ghirmai Commits to Texas over UCLA

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

Photo credit: Scout.com.

The Texas Longhorns secured a potential stud left tackle Monday by virtue of Rafiti Ghirmai committing to play for the school.

He made the announcement on his Twitter page:

According to Scout, Ghirmai is a 4-star prospect, as well as the No. 246 overall recruit, No. 19 offensive tackle and No. 2 player at his position from the state of Texas.

Ghirmai is a mountainous lineman who Scout lists at 6'4" and 290 pounds, which means he also still has room to grow.

While Ghirmai is still somewhat raw, that didn't stop many of the top programs in the nation from pursuing him throughout the recruiting process.

Per Scout, the likes of UCLA, LSU, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, Georgia and Oregon, among others, made him scholarship offers.

Ghirmai has quickly risen up the charts over the past year as a late bloomer since he didn't play varsity high school football until 2016.

With so little experience in that regard, Ghirmai knew that he needed to continue to improve and work on certain areas of his game heading toward his senior campaign, according to Ryan Wright of Recruiting News Guru: "My feet. For O-lineman, that is the No. 1 priority. I have good hands. If I have good feet the defender is not going anywhere. All the great linemen that have played the game, they have the best feet."

The Frisco, Texas, native's desire to progress is a positive sign and precisely the type of attitude high-level college programs are looking for.

While Ghirmai has played tackle in high school and projects at that position in college, he also worked out at guard during The Opening, which means he could have some flexibility.

Plug-and-play linemen hold a great deal of value, and it gives Ghirmai the best chance of success at the college level.

One of the biggest issues for Texas in recent years has been its inability to keep high-level recruits from the Lone Star State close to home.

Head coach Tom Herman is looking to change that, and while one commitment doesn't guarantee that the tide is turning, landing Ghirmai is a major coup for that fact, as well as the outlook for the offensive line moving forward.