On Texas Football: Analyzing Tausili Akana's commitment to Texas

Steve Habelby:Steve Habel12/22/22

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Inside Texas’ Bobby Burton and Gerry Hamilton spent plenty of time on their latest edition of On Texas Football gushing over the Longhorns’ recruiting class that was secured on early signing day Dec. 21. They talked about the importance and impact of the flipping of four-star edge Tausili Akana at the 11th hour.

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Check out the YouTube video below.

Signing day surprise

Akana, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder from Kahuku, Hawai’i, chose the Longhorns over a bevy of other suitors, most notably Oklahoma. Akana is already 19-years old and, according to Hamilton, he’s battled and dominated “plenty of big and strong guys at the high school ranks in Utah,” which is a high level of prep competition.

“Akana is a designated pass rush specialist coming into the Power 5 level and that’s a great thing for Texas fans,” Hamilton explained. “The more pass rush guys they have in the program, the better Texas will feel moving forward about where this defense is going and as it goes on the SEC.

“He’s a kid who’s got really good feet, and he’s got strong hands… he’s got some natural pass rush stuff to him. And in Utah he’s accustomed to playing against 275, 285, 300 pound guys. He’s accustomed to taking on big bodies.”

Guessing game

Akana didn’t do a lot of social media promotion as he decided where he was going to go to school and play football.

“He wasn’t out there talking about his recruitment,” Hamilton said. “That’s the difference. That’s the big difference. He kept a lot of people guessing. He’s one of the tougher guys to get a read on and I think that proved out with his decision.”

Siblings will have unique opportunities

Maybe Texas had a leg up as it came time for Akana to put his name officially on the dotted line. Akana’s sister, Keonilei Akana, is a member of the Longhorns’ volleyball team and ripped an ace to secure the final point to clinch Texas’ national championship on Saturday.

As recently as Tuesday, most recruiting “crystal balls” predicted Akana would sign with the Sooners. Hamilton stepped out on a ledge and predicted the flip because of what he had heard about potential Name, Image, Likeness benefits for Akana and his sister, among other things.

“Look, we are in an NIL day and age and with him teaming up with a sister in Texas from an NIL perspective, you know, we can’t hide from this stuff. We have to talk about this stuff,” Hamilton outlined. “Them teaming up brings some unique opportunities for them and that doesn’t happen very often for a family in college athletics.”

There’s plenty more on Akana and the rest of the Longhorns recruiting class, so check out the video.

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