One of the Texas Longhorns top inside linebacker targets is now committed elsewhere after Rockwall product Alston Orji announced his pledge to the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday night.
#Dynamite18 My new home for the next 4 years Will be a Commodore pic.twitter.com/R5bokszFmj— Alston Chizoba Orji (@_TheAOrji_) May 24, 2017
A four-star prospect, Orji committed to Derek Mason’s program over a host of other options, including Michigan, Oklahoma, LSU, Oklahoma State, UCLA, Washington, Texas A&M and the Longhorns, among others.
Ranked as the nation’s No. 178 player, Orji now gives Vanderbilt its highest-ranked 2018 commit and its fourth overall.
As far as Texas is concerned, Orji was one of just four 2018 inside linebacker prospects that hold an offer from the Longhorns and now joins five-star USC pledge Palaie Goateote as targets now committed to another program. This leaves Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Va.) product Teradja Mitchell and St. Louis native Ayodele Adeoye as the only uncommitted Texas inside linebacker targets still on the market. Florida State is the heavy favorite for Mitchell, while Adeoye recently named Texas in his top 10.
That said, don’t expect Tom Herman and his staff to quit pursuing a flip from Orji going forward. Texas has already flipped Justin Watkins from Florida State, Cameron Rising from Oklahoma and Caden Sterns from LSU in this cycle alone.
Orji ranks as the nation’s No. 7 inside linebacker and the No. 21 player in Texas, according to 247Sports Composite.