Texas Football: 3 bold predictions for Horns in non-conference play

Quinn Ewers, Texas Football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Quinn Ewers, Texas Football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Johntay Cook II, Texas football
Johntay Cook II, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Johntay Cook II catches three deep balls, two of which go for touchdowns

Texas’ most talented and impact-ready new addition among the true freshmen in the wide receiver room this fall is the former five-star recruit out of DeSoto High School, Johntay Cook II. Cook was the highest-rated wide receiver recruit for the Longhorns in the 2023 class.

He lived up to the five-star billing immediately upon arriving on campus for spring ball this offseason. Cook got better and better throughout the offseason, which led to him emerging as one of the most pleasant surprises of fall camp.

Cook solidified his spot among the four or five best receivers for Sark, new wide receivers coach Chris Jackson, and the Longhorns coming out of fall camp. He’ll certainly be in that rotation of four or five wideouts Sark wants in the offense in live-game action this fall.

Sark will be able to get Cook ample reps during the non-conference slate against foes such as Rice and Wyoming. Regardless if Texas gets up early in those games, I’d bet Sark will get Cook plenty of reps at the field receiver slot to get him the valuable early-season reps and targets in the passing game.

We already saw Sark get Cook involved in the deep passing game during the spring game when Murphy connected with him for a 78-yard bomb that went for a touchdown.

There’s no doubt Sark has confidence in Cook’s ability, especially on the deep ball. In the non-conference slate, Cook’s speed and precise route-running will give him a big edge against some overmatched Rice and Wyoming secondaries. It wouldn’t surprise me if Cook gets over the top on opposing defenses for multiple catches on deep balls in the non-con.