In the lone fireworks of the day for the Texas Longhorns, elite edge rusher Tausili Akana signed with Texas as a part of Early Signing Day, choosing the Longhorns over the Oklahoma Sooners, LSU Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies, and Louisville Cardinals in a ceremony in Hawaii.
Texas later confirmed the receipt of Akana’s National Letter of Intent and his addition to the 2023 recruiting class.
Akana, a four-star edge from Lehi (Utah) Skyridge, was one of the most highly-coveted recruits in the country, holding 47 offers covering all of the Power 5 conferences. He ultimately took five official visits during the season, making it to Austin first for the Week 2 matchup against Alabama. He spent the final weekend of the recruiting period at Louisville, but most believed it was a two-horse race between the Longhorns and Sooners.
The No. 102 player in the 247Sports Composite, the 6’4, 225-pound edge adds to an already elite haul from the defensive staff, with defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski taking point on the recruitment. He joins Derrion Gullette, Colton Vasek, and Billy Walton in a group that could likely factor into both the near and far-term trajectory of the defense.
The brother of Keonilei Akana, libero on the national champion volleyball team, Akana’s addition to the class pushes Texas above the Miami Hurricanes for the No. 3 recruiting class for 2023.
Analysis (by Daniel Seahorn):
Texas already has one high-motor/energy edge rusher in the class in Colton Vasek and now they are getting another one in Tausili Akana. Akana is featured off the edge as a stand-up and three-point stance rusher and in some snaps off the ball at inside backer. Like with Vasek, one of Akana’s best traits is that he plays hard and relentlessly on each snap he puts on tape. You can put it in ink that he will give you good, hard snaps when he is out there and he will be the kind of player that makes the hustle plays that coaches love. One of the knocks on Akana is that he lacks the ideal length you want for an edge rusher, but with that in mind, he actually does a good job of winning with his hands and getting off blocks both coming downhill off the ball and when coming off the edge. As a pass rusher, Akana shows solid ball get-off and has the ability to dip and win running the arc. He also shows the ability to convert speed to power and has the making of a long arm move that shows he can get into the bodies of offensive tackles. Akana also shows that he will counter with a nice spin move back inside if he feels himself getting too far up the field. Has some reps on tape when he is asked to drop into coverage from the edge and shows some comfort when tasked with doing so. Akana is listed at 6’4, 225, but I would be curious to see comprehensive measurables on him because he looks like a guy who is going to need to fill out some once he arrives to campus. Once he adds some mass to his frame I think he is a guy you can get involved in some situational pass rush scenarios early in his career at the next level.