3. Anthony Cook, Cornerback
Texas football needed the secondary to step up this season, and none of the former four-star recruits at cornerback among the freshmen or sophomores did such thing yet. The Longhorns got mostly inconsistent play out of their two former highly touted four-star recruits at cornerback from the 2018 signing class, Anthony Cook and Jalen Green.
A lot of the inconsistent play from Green can be put on injuries. He had a shoulder separation in the win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys earlier this season. But he hasn’t shown much ability in pass defense since then. Texas didn’t have the most difficult stretch in Big 12 play in terms of the strength of the opposition’s passing attacks.
But the difference between Cook and Green this season were the matchups they landed. Most games in Big 12 play, when he was healthy, saw Green face up against the opponent’s top wide receiver. Green would draw someone like Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb or Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace while Cook would get the second or third look for opposing quarterbacks.
During that time, Cook managed just 18 total tackles, one tackle for loss, and two pass deflections. His production is worse than Green and he’s prone to getting beat deep consistently. This wasn’t what defensive coordinator Todd Orlando had to have in mind with inching Cook into a bigger role this fall.