Friday, January 24, 2014
ESPN 300 LB Alaka close to final decision
By Max Olson
ESPN 300 linebacker Otaro Alaka (Houston/Cypress Falls) just wants this process to end.
He’s down to Texas and Texas A&M and believes his final decision should come in the next few days.
"It just depends on how I’m feeling," Alaka said. "It might be two or three days. It’s just going to take a lot of thinking, a lot of praying.”
Alaka met with both coaching staffs twice on Thursday. First they stopped by Cypress Falls in the morning to meet with Alaka and his head coach, Kirk Eaton. Then the Texas and A&M coaches made their way to the Alaka household on Thursday night for in-home visits.
“I thought both of them were pretty successful and I enjoyed both of them,” Alaka said.
Alaka said Texas A&M coaches arrived first, with Kevin Sumlin joined by linebackers coach Mark Hagen and special teams/tight ends coach Jeff Banks. Since Alaka has known these coaches for a year and just took his official visit to College Station last weekend, there wasn't much pressure.
“It went pretty good. There wasn’t really much to discuss," Alaka said. "We really just sat and chatted. [Sumlin] was really just saying the same stuff, nothing new in particular."
Charlie Strong arrived at the Alaka home shortly after the Aggies coaches left. He was joined by defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, and they spent much of the night getting to know Alaka's parents.
“That was the first time my dad and mom were meeting Coach Strong and the rest of the staff," he said. “They liked them and we both enjoyed the visit.”
Though the Texas coaching staff tried to convince Alaka to take another unofficial visit to Austin to meet the rest of the new staff, the linebacker said he doesn’t plan on making that trip this weekend. He's going to take his time this weekend, discuss his options with his parents and reach a conclusion whenever he feels comfortable.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound outside linebacker has been verbally committed to Texas since April and doesn’t plan to reopen his recruitment. He doesn’t see the point -- he’s going to one of these two schools. Alaka isn’t looking for any signing day drama, either. The sooner he gets this done, the happier he’ll be.
Going into the day, he believed the in-home visits might be the last piece of the puzzle. After they ended, he thinks he knows what the gut feeling is on the final decision. But he's not ready to announce yet.
"I think I have an idea," Alaka said. "I just need to take a couple days to be sure.”