PROSPER, TX — Johntay Cook, a 2023 wide receiver from DeSoto, TX, now has 24 Division I football offers.
“I guess you can say my recruitment has been slow,” he said.
He’s being serious, but in reality, Cook seems to be settling in on six schools, in no particular order: Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, USC and Baylor.
“They’re really talking to me,” Cook told SI Sooners after a standout performance at the Pylon 7 on 7 tournament last weekend. “They’re really trying to build a relationship with me.”
A lot of the others haven’t spoken with him since their initial scholarship offer, so he doesn’t know where he stands.
So what does the 6-foot, 175-pound Cook like best about those six schools?
“Alabama’s the national champions,” he said. “Alabama’s always gonna be one of the top teams in college football. As long as Nick Saban is the coach, they’re always gonna be one top schools in college football.
“Oklahoma, that’s just been my school since I was little boy, you know? I just love everything about Oklahoma. Maybe it is the place for me, maybe it’s not the place for me. We’ve gotta see.
“Texas, I’ve also loved Texas. But I wouldn’t say dream school. I just like Texas because they’re in Texas, it’s my home state. Like, who wouldn’t want to play for the Texas Longhorns? Especially if you’re from Texas.”
Those might be the big three. But three others have either been there since the beginning or just recently made a lasting impression.
“Baylor’s actually been recruiting me since I was about in eighth grade,” Cook said. “Like, I got the offer after my freshman season, but they’ve been recruiting me for a while now. They’re still recruiting me hard. I literally talk to Baylor like, every single day, day and night. Coach (Joey) McGuire, coach (Brian) Nance, coach (Chansi) Stuckey, coach (Dave) Aranda. They’re all pushing for me. And I can see it. It’s like once I get to see and get up there and get involved with the coaches and see what they’re like in person, then I’ll know.”
Two offers came last week that have clearly made Cook think about things. The most recent was LSU, which offered on March 18. The other was USC, which came two days before.
“USC’s also another team that’s been recruiting me for a minute,” Cook said. “I just got the offer like a couple days ago. But I’ve been involved with USC for a minute. Coach (Keary) Colbert, he’s just a cool dude. Coach (Seth) Doege, he’s been recruiting me since freshman year.
“And California, man, that’s the place to be, I heard.”
Baylor offer Cook a scholarship last summer. Texas offered last fall. Cook said he was wowed by the Alabama offer on Feb. 23, and Oklahoma came along with one two days later.
Virtual visits have been nice. He took one with Texas first, and came away impressed with the personal touch Oklahoma showed. But Cook said he’s eager to see if the NCAA will lift the COVID dead period on May 31 so he and other recruits can start visiting campuses for real. He said he’s “planning to go some schools” in June.
“I haven’t officially scheduled anything,” he said. “I may go to Oklahoma June 12 (that’s when Lincoln Riley has scheduled his Champ U BBQ), possibly Texas June 2. And LSU somewhere around that time.”