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Johntay Cook Commitment Could Ignite Longhorns Both On and Off Field

Johntay Cook's commitment could help take the Longhorns 2023 class to another level

The Texas Longhorns were already the hottest team in the country on the recruiting trail, snagging 11 commitments in the month of June, and 9 since No. 1 overall prospect Arch Manning's commitment last Thursday. 

Now, another major domino has dropped on Wednesday, with DeSoto (TX) wide receiver, Johntay Cook committing to Texas.

Cook had long been the Longhorns' top target on the offensive side of the ball outside of Manning, and with his commitment, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian has found his future No. 1 quarterback, a future No. 1 wide receiver. 

It was a move many foresaw the day Manning made his commitment to Texas official, largely thanks to the tight relationship the two had developed over the recruiting process. 

So what exactly are the Longhorns getting in their new commitment? An explosive weapon-- both on and off the field. 

On The Field 

First and foremost, the Longhorns are getting a serious weapon and a playmaker at a position of serious need.

In the 2021 season, it was evident that Sarkisian's wide receiver room was in desperate need of an influx of talent. Outside of Jordan Whittington and Xavier Worthy, the room was largely ineffective and inconsistent. 

And in 2022, they lost a major battle to their in-state rivals for the nation's top slot receiver, Evan Stewart.

Now, the addition of Cook provides an immediate impact player who should see the field from Day 1 of the 2023 season. 

Skill-wise, Cook is a phenomenal route runner, who uses his sudden quickness and ability to change direction to get easy separation from defensive backs off of the line of scrimmage. It is extremely difficult for even some of the more talented corners in Texas 6A defenses to get their hands on him off the snap. 

And if they don't, he is a threat to take it the distance every time. 

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He is also adept at winning 50/50 situations on jump balls, despite his smaller 6-0, 175-pound frame. 

Athletically, Cook is also an elite prospect, with a long wingspan, explosive jumping ability, and has game-breaking speed and quickness to take it the distance as soon as he touches the ball.

On The Recruiting Trail

As good as he is on the field, however, Cook could provide an even bigger impact off of it. 

Cook has a boisterous and magnetic personality that many of the top players in the country will gravitate toward as the process continues, and in combination with more quiet recruiting prowess of Arch Manning, could form a dangerous duo for the Longhorns on the trail. 

Now that he is committed to the Longhorns, Cook is already trying to sell top recruits such as Jalen Hale, Anthony Hill, and presumably even recent Louisville commitment Rueben Owens to join him in Austin. 

"I feel like it’s a higher chance that me and Reuben go to college together than me and Arch," Cook told this spring. “I mean me and Reuben we really started building our friendship last year. Me and Arch also. We all were at UT together and they had the Elite camp and Arch threw me that bomb and after that, we were just with each other in the hotel all weekend and just expanded on that. “

Fortunately for the Horns, Arch and Johntay are committed together on the 40 Acres, and the likes of Owens, Hill, Hale, and many more will likely start to see even more of an appeal to jumping on the Orange and White train. 

Now, the only question remaining seems to be, who is next?

You can follow Matt Galatzan on Twitter @MattGalatzan

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