Texas Football: Breaking down 5 immediate impact 2023 early signees

Colton Vasek, Texas football
Colton Vasek, Texas football /
1 of 5
Anthony Hill, Texas football
Anthony Hill, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

There wasn’t much that went down on the morning of the first National Signing Day (Dec. 21) concerning the 2023 Texas football recruiting class.

Despite this being a rather quiet start to the Early Signing Period by the usual considerations for head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns in the 2023 class, this staff still accomplished one major task on Dec. 21. Texas was able to all of the top commits in the 2023 class signed on the morning of the first signing day.

That included the elite commit that was most in doubt regarding whether he would sign early with the Longhorns on Dec. 21, the five-star New Iberia Westgate (LA) safety Derek Williams.

Texas has now signed all 22 high school recruits that were committed to the 2023 class heading into NSD1. The trio of defensive commits in the 2023 class, four-star South Oak Cliff cornerback Malik Muhammad, four-star Kahuku (HI) linebacker Liona Lefau, and three-star South Oak Cliff edge rusher Billy Walton, all signing on the dotted line brought the Longhorns to 21 out of 21 LOIs faxed as of the early afternoon of Dec. 21.

Blue-chip early signees bound to make an immediate impact on Texas football

With that in mind, here’s a look at a breakdown of five immediate impact early signees in the Longhorns 2023 class.

Johntay Cook, WR

The highest-rated wide receiver signee in the Longhorns 2023 class is the elite five-star DeSoto product Johntay Cook. Texas was able to sign its highest-rated wide receiver recruit since 2010 when we saw the Longhorns nab five-stars Mike Davis and Darius White.

Cook was the prize for the Longhorns in this class at wide receiver. He is likely going to be the next man up at the x-wide receiver spot once sophomore Xavier Worthy’s time is done on the Forty Acres.

There are some similarities between Cook and Worthy. They’re both potent deep threats that have some insane burners to blow past opposing defensive backs. Cook and Worthy are both also very explosive and agile route runners that can burn DBs in pass coverage on a wide variety of patterns.

Cook is a real technician with his route-running ability. He’s able to track the ball well and is pretty adept at making mid-route adjustments if the throw isn’t exactly on target with his route.

And one of the most obvious plusses that Cook brings is his ability to do damage after the catch. Cook is extremely elusive and can make a lot of defenders miss in the open field. He’s the type of guy that can go off for a big play at any time at really all levels of the field in Sark’s offense.

My biggest gripe with Cook would be the lack of ability to win the contested balls on the sidelines and the occasional untimely drop. Similar to Worthy, Cook can be prone to the occasional bad drop when he loses focus on the football.

Based on the current projections for Texas’ wide receiver room in 2023, Cook is probably going to be the fourth or fifth wideout in terms of the pecking order for targets. That is based on the assumption that redshirt sophomore outside receiver Isaiah Neyor and redshirt junior slot receiver Jordan Whittington will both return to starting roles next season.