Texas football: 3 underclassmen poised to breakout in 2024

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Johntay Cook II, Texas football
Johntay Cook II, Texas football / Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

1. Johntay Cook II, Soph, WR

Johntay Cook was a cornerstone of the 2023 recruiting class. The DeSoto (TX) High School product was ranked as a five-star and the No. 3 receiver in the On3 Composite.

Listed at 6-0, 186 lbs, Cook spent the 2023 season as the backup X-receiver behind Xavier Worthy. It has long been known that Coach Sarkisian rarely rotates his receivers, and this once again proved true last season.

Cook finished the season with 12 targets and eight receptions for 136 yards, all fourth on the team at the receiver position. He received offensive snaps in 13 of 14 games, but it was clear that 2023 was a developmental year for the freshman as he learned behind Worthy.

With Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, Jordan Whittington, and JT Sanders headed to the NFL Draft, the Longhorns are losing nearly 85 percent of their receiving production from last season. Cook is in line for a massive uptick in snaps in 2024 and has flashed the requisite skills to be the next elite outside threat on the Forty.

247Sports' Gabe Brooks noted that Cook has "elite feel for the position with ahead-of-his-age technical acumen, great ball-tracking ability ... with virtually limitless potential as a route runner."

Cook has the versatility to line up anywhere on the field. Pairing him with Houston transfer Matthew Golden should once again give Texas one of the most lethal receiving duos in the country.