Monday, March 4, 2013
After A&M visit, LB Alaka wants to wait
By Max Olson
Now that the offers are piling up, Otaro Alaka thinks it’s time to slow down and do some thinking.
Texas A&M was the latest to offer a scholarship to the Houston Cypress Falls outside linebacker during its Saturday junior day, after LSU and Texas did earlier in the week.
Otaro Alaka was closing in on a commitment, but that's on hold after an offer from Texas A&M.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect was considering making a decision this week, but he sat down with his father on Sunday to talk things over. They’ve come up with a new plan.
“I’m hoping to make the decision [in] late March or early April,” Alaka said. “I just think I need more time. The offers just made me think about it more. I want to do some more research.”
Texas is still No. 1 on Alaka’s list, but five other schools are in the hunt: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU and Cal. After his visit on Saturday, Alaka said the Aggies would be in his top three now.
“It was cool. I liked the coaches and the practice was pretty cool,” Alaka said of his visit. “At the end of it, they brought me in coach [Kevin] Sumlin’s office and that’s when he offered. That was pretty exciting. A&M is pretty hot right now so I’m pretty excited about that one.”
Texas A&M already has verbal commitments from in-state linebackers Hoza Scott and Josh Walker but is seeking one more. The coaching staff made it clear to Alaka that they like how he’d fit their defense.
“They said I was a good player for the system they’re running on defense,” he said. “They like me [as a] strongside linebacker who can drop into coverage as well as be a pass rusher.”
What’s next? Alaka plans to visit TCU sometime in the next month, and ideally he’d like to make a trip out to Cal. He knows that won’t be easy and that there’s a chance he’ll decide without taking that trip.
The fact his Cy Falls teammate Jacobi Hunter signed with Cal in February is one factor there, but the Bears got on his radar simply by expressing serious interest.
“It’s also a good school,” he said. “They’ve been sending me a whole bunch of mail and a whole bunch of handwritten letters expressing that they really want me there.”
Alaka is looking forward to seeing how things play out in the next month and said his decision will come down to two factors: His relationship with a school’s coaches and how much they make him feel needed.
Though Alaka wanted to push up his decision date, the advice his father gave him on Sunday provided some much-needed clarity. The Longhorns still have the lead, but the linebacker wants more time to weigh his new options.
“He told me to just make sure I really like the school and make sure the one you’re going to go with is the one you really like,” Alaka said. “He’s not really high on the whole decommitting thing and he thinks I should stick to it when I do decide."