The 2018 Under Armour All-American game just added a little bit of drama for Texas Longhorns fans, as Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Nik Bonitto will make his decision while in Orlando, according to a report from ESPN.
Bonitto isn’t commonly known as a top target for the Longhorns, but the staff has been in pursuit of the 6’2.5, 204-pounder since offering in early September. In October, Bonitto took an official visit to Austin before the staff held an in-home visit with him in late November.
Other schools in the mix include Lousiville and Oklahoma, which also hosted the consensus four-star prospect for official visits this fall.
The Longhorns, however, may now be the favorite for Bonitto, as a flood of 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions came in on Tuesday — eight in total. Louisville is still the leader there, but all the momentum points to Texas.
The hope is that the surge with Bonitto doesn’t indicate that Texas is going to lose Ayodele Adeoye to Oklahoma. A more likely scenario is that Adeoye signs with the ‘Horns during the early period and North Richland Hills linebacker DaShaun White ends up at Oklahoma or sticks with his commitment to Texas A&M.
Landing Bonitto would be an important addition to the 2018 recruiting class for head coach Tom Herman and his staff, as it’s a need position that currently features little depth. With junior Malik Jefferson likely off to the 2018 NFL Draft, Texas will almost certainly need to find a new starter next season.
Bonitto doesn’t profile as an early contributor since he’s still rather light and plays defensive end for St. Thomas Aquinas, but he would ensure better depth there.
A consensus four-star prospect, he’s ranked as the No. 217 prospect nationally, the No. 17 outside linebacker, and the No. 40 player in Florida, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.