UT lands state’s top ’18 OL

Rafiti Ghirmai (Will Gallagher/IT)

Rafiti Ghirmai (Will Gallagher/IT)

FRISCO — So far this cycle, Texas has loaded up with some of the best skill players in the country. Today, they added the state’s top lineman to the fold.

Frisco Wakeland’s 4-star OL Rafiti Ghirmai verbally pledged to Texas today. The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder is the versatile type interior lineman who can play both guard and tackle. He chose UT over LSU, Alabama, UCLA, and Florida.

What was it about Texas that stood out? Tom Herman, Derek Warehime, tradition, global branding, and/or potentially securing a Top 3 class in UT’s 2018 squad?

“All that plus I like the players there, and ones (recruits) coming,” Ghirmai recently told IT. “Mainly, (Texas) is not that far from home so my mom can see all my games.”

Excerpt from the Recruiting Notebook:

Rafiti Ghirmai, OL – Frisco Wakeland (2018)

How he fits at Texas: Ghirmai is a mauler with ideal size at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds or so, likely to hit 300 without much effort or lost movement ability. He’s pretty good finding targets in space and he can get out of his stance quick enough to deal with smaller, quick players on the edge, but whether or not he’ll be elite enough an athlete to be the left tackle is less clear. He’s excellent going straight ahead on people and would translate really well inside if he couldn’t play left tackle. Ghirmai will probably stick at tackle and not move inside but he could be a big plus in there if he did, much like Pat Hudson. His best fit at any position will probably be on inside zone moving DL off the ball before climbing up to linebackers, just the kind of downhill road grader that Herman wants on campus. – Ian Boyd

Ghirmai becomes becomes the becomes the 18th member of Texas’ 2018 class joining Malcolm Epps (Spring DeKaney), Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield), Dominick Wood-Anderson (Arizona Western), Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor), Jalen Green (Heights), Al’Vonte Woodard (Lamar), Rondale Moore (Louisville, KY), BJ Foster (Angleton), Ayodele Adeoye (Overland, MO), DeMarvion Overshown (Arp), Keaontay Ingram (Carthage), Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele), Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis), Reese Moore (Seminole), Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, CA), Casey Thompson (Newcastle, OK), Byron Hobbs (FW Eastern Hills).