The second blue-chip dedication within the 2023 Texas soccer recruiting class arrived for second-year head coach Steve Sarkisian and co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Jeff Choate on June 25. On the afternoon of June 25, Texas formally landed a dedication within the 2023 recruiting class from the touted four-star Kahuku (HI) linebacker Liona Lefau.
Sark, Choate, and the Longhorns at the moment are as much as two blue-chip linebacker commits within the 2023 class. The opposite is the four-star North Crowley linebacker S’Maje Burrell, who was dedicated to the Longhorns because the spring.
Lefau took to his Twitter timeline late within the afternoon of June 25 to announce his dedication to Texas.
It is a fairly large get for Choate and the Longhorns, who landed this dedication from Lefau simply a few weeks after his official go to to Austin. Lefau particularly visited Austin formally again on June 10.
Texas soccer provides a gritty old-school LB to the 2023 class in 4-Star Liona Lefau
Since that point, Lefau took a visit to see the Oregon Geese. And it was presumed that Oregon was the highest faculty within the race to land a dedication from Lefau heading into the summer season. That’s what makes this dedication so necessary for Choate and the Longhorns.
Texas appears to be lastly making progress with a few of its prime linebacker recruits for the 2023 cycle. That was a difficulty for the likes of co-defensive coordinators/linebackers coaches Choate and Pete Kwiatkowski within the first 12 months or so on the helm with Texas.
Texas couldn’t appear to seal the cope with their prime edge and/or linebacker targets on the recruiting path or out of the NCAA Switch Portal because the begin of final offseason. However that narrative seems to be shifting this summer season.
And it’s additionally price noting that there could possibly be an fascinating improvement within the works for the Longhorns between Lefau and the extremely touted four-star Skyridge (HI) edge rusher Tausili Akana. A report from Inside Texas final week (paid content material) indicated that Lefau talked about how Texas was the one faculty that he and Akana have been contemplating in widespread with one another this summer season.
It will likely be fascinating to see what Texas can do within the recruitment of Akana understanding that Lefau is within the combine on this 2023 class and so they reportedly mentioned committing to the identical faculty.
What this 6-foot-1 and 215-pound Hawaii native linebacker Lefau brings to the desk for the Longhorns is a gritty and hard-hitting defender that has an old-school mentality to him. Lefau has glorious closing pace in pursuit of the ball service. And he’s a really sure-tackler that has a whole lot of pop when he meets the ball service head-on.
The very first thing that pops in Lefau’s movie from what I see is his intelligence in breaking down performs from the snap and discovering the ball. Whether or not he has to drop again into cross protection, get after the passer, or pursue the ball service defending the run, Lefau appears to know the place the ball goes to be earlier than the play truly develops.
Within the cross rush, Lefau is wise find his method via chaos on delayed blitzes developing the center. His soccer IQ and shutting pace, mixed together with his sure-tackling capability, imply that opposing quarterbacks don’t usually get away from Lefau when he will get them inside attain.
Lefau isn’t going to overlook many tackles when he’s received the ball service, regardless if it’s the quarterback or a operating again, in his sights. He’s a wonderful basic tackler with a pure nostril to seek out the soccer.
That’s one thing that was largely lacking from the linebackers final season for Choate, Kwiatkowski, and the Longhorns. Thus, this can be a incredible addition to the Longhorns 2023 class at linebacker.
Lefau additionally has good instincts and stunning fast lateral pace when he’s referred to as upon to drop into cross protection. Since he additionally performs on the tight finish place in highschool, he is aware of what’s usually within the minds of opposing pass-catchers he’s assigned to cowl.
The truth that Lefau additionally performs at tight finish for Kahuku implies that he has good fingers for a linebacker. He could possibly be a risk to get at the least a few interceptions 12 months in and 12 months out towards unsuspecting quarterbacks.
Stopping the run is doubtlessly the weak level of Lefau’s recreation. His smaller 210-215 pound body usually means he struggles to get off blocks in pursuit of the ball service. And he can usually be caught overpursuing the ball service, which might come again to chew him when making an attempt to convey down among the extra elusive operating backs, huge receivers, and so forth. within the open subject.
But, these are each elements of Lefau’s recreation that may be patched up on the collegiate degree. He ought to be capable to placed on at the least 10 or 15 extra kilos on the subsequent degree. Some work within the weight room throughout summer season exercises subsequent offseason will do Lefau a whole lot of good.
Lefau additionally simply must get extra beginning reps in highschool on the linebacker place defending the run to get extra elusive instincts on this section of the sport. That will even be true as soon as he arrives on campus with the Longhorns in 2023.
All in all, that is massive for the Longhorns to get a pure linebacker that may be a actual drive to be reckoned with in a number of regards reminiscent of Lefau. Below Choate and Kwiatkowski, Lefau may shine taking part in in a job much like that of the 6-foot-2 and 221-pound senior Jaylan Ford, who hosted him for some time throughout his official go to to Austin a few weekends in the past.
Lefau ought to be capable to problem for beginning reps at center linebacker by his second or third 12 months in school, relying on how the following two recruiting courses form up at this place. He’ll want so as to add some measurement and show he might be extra instinctual defending the run earlier than he’s actually able to assume a beginning function with this linebacker corps.
However the pure capability for Lefau to seek out the ball service with out overpursuing in a number of phases of the sport for this defensive entrance could possibly be an actual game-changer for Choate and Kwiatkowski at the least a few years down the street.
Lefau is the ninth dedication within the Longhorns 2023 class, and the second since June 23. This additionally now makes it all the commits within the Longhorns 2023 class, outdoors of the 2 tight ends within the combine, which are touted blue-chip recruits.