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Monday, April 8, 2013
Texas scores win over A&M with Alaka

By William Wilkerson

There is no telling when or whether the Longhorns and Aggies will resume their heated rivalry, for which Texas claims bragging rights, for now, with a win in the 118th meeting back in 2011.

While they might not be trading blows on the field, the battle waged on the recruiting trail is as heated as it has ever been.

Thanks to the momentum Texas A&M carries after a successful inaugural season in the SEC, highlighted by Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy-winning year, the Aggies are winning more head-to-head battles with Texas.

But the Longhorns would still like to consider themselves as the premier destination in the Lone Star State, and, for now, have won the latest recruiting battle with the commitment of linebacker Otaro Alaka (Houston/Cy Falls).

Alaka chose Texas over A&M on Monday night. His commitment means each program has five commits from players the other school has offered.

Texas A&M's list of commits with Longhorns offers includes athlete Nick Harvey (Fort Bend, Texas/Travis), defensive tackle DeShawn Washington (Nederland, Texas/Nederland) linebacker Hoza Scott (La Porte, Texas/La Porte) linebacker Josh Walker (Gilmer, Texas/Gilmer) and safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite).

For Texas, those commitments include Alaka, defensive end Derick Roberson (San Antonio/Brennan), defensive tackle Courtney Garnett (New Orleans/Saint Augustine), linebacker Cameron Hampton (Dallas/Carter) and offensive lineman Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints).

In 2013 the Longhorns had eight commits with Aggies offers, while Texas A&M had jut four pledges with Texas offers. That should tell you that the gap is closing, if not already closed depending on who you talk to.

For now, though, the Longhorns have evened the score in 2014 with the commitment of Alaka.

Before his commitment, Texas hadn’t had much success in its 2014 battles with Texas A&M when it came to recruiting the defensive front seven. Washington, Scott and Walker are all huge gets for Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin.

Alaka, though, continues a string of recent commitments who have bolstered Texas’ front seven for the future. He’ll join a group that includes Garnett, Hampton, Roberson, defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Warren) and defensive end Jake McMillon.

Alaka might have evened the score on the recruiting trail for now, but it will change several times before all is said and done.

A few of the battles that should factor for the rivals include CB Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/Saint Augustine), CB Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne), defensive end Jarrett Johnson (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes), DE Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), linebacker Zach Whitley (Galena Park, Texas/North Shore), safety Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), S Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks), wide receiver K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and WR Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City).