football Edit

The Pit Stop: Notes on Johntay Cook, Malik Muhammad, and more

Texas is one school in the mix for 2023 4-star DB Malik Muhammad.
Texas is one school in the mix for 2023 4-star DB Malik Muhammad. (Ben Golan/

DeSoto is loaded with talent each and every year, consistently churning out big-time Division-1 talent. Texas has offered multiple players in the Eagles program, including junior wide receiver Johntay Cook II and sophomore defensive end Caleb Mitchell.

Cook is one of the most electrifying players in all of Texas, while Mitchell looks to be next in line along the Eagles’ defensive line. The DeSoto star pass-catcher told Orangebloods last week that Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns have made him a big priority in the 2023 recruiting class since arriving in Austin.

“When Sark got the job, I feel like that I was probably the first kid that they re-offered, so that was really big,” Cook said.

The 2023 four-star prospect mentioned that the Longhorns are selling him on potentially playing with 2023 five-star quarterback Arch Manning, 2022 five-star wide receiver Evan Stewart, and true freshman wide receiver Xavier Worthy at Texas.

Cook said that he plans to drop a top-10 list in September. Alabama, Texas, and Texas A&M are very safe bets to make the list when he releases it next month.

As for Caleb Mitchell, the DeSoto defensive lineman has seen his recruitment spike this offseason. Baylor, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, and Texas A&M have all extended offers to the rising sophomore defender.

The talented lineman was able to visit Baylor, Texas, and Texas A&M this summer with plans to visit Oklahoma State in the fall. Right now, Mitchell says that the Longhorns have his attention the most. That, in large part, is because of Texas defensive line coach Bo Davis.

“I really like Coach Davis. He says it how he wants to say it and when he wants to say it, and I really appreciate that,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell was down in Austin for the Texas BBQ and pool party at the end of July, where he was able to be around other recruits and the Longhorns coaching staff. The DeSoto standout enjoyed his time on the 40 Acres.

“It was really good. I got to talk to Coach (Pete) K(wiatkowski) and Coach Davis some more and learn what they got going on. I talked with Coach (Chris) Gilbert for a little bit.”

Another note on DeSoto, Cook pointed out 2024 wide receiver Kam Robinson as who is next up in the program. Robinson already looks the part and impressed in practice. He is certainly a name to remember as his varsity career gets going.

South Oak Cliff, similarly to DeSoto, is always loaded with talent. Under Armour All-American Malik Muhammad is the headliner for the Golden Bears this season. The Rivals100 2023 defensive back holds offers from the likes of Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, and more.

Muhammad transferred to IMG Academy before returning to the South Oak Cliff for his junior season. A big reason for the move back home is to play against Texas high school football competition.

“The reason I came back (to Texas), man, I just wanted to come back and win State with SOC,” Muhammad explained. “I feel like (a state championship) in high school (compared to) the national championship in high school, I feel like State is really big. Obviously, IMG is a hell of a program, but I feel like Texas high school football is just different.”

Some of the top programs in the country have extended scholarship offers to the four-star defensive back. Muhammad has had the opportunity to visit different campuses and meet with several coaches. He mentioned that he and his father met with Steve Sarkisian in Austin.

“Coach Gilbert, Coach (Jeff) Banks, and Coach Sarkisian are the main coaches that I talk to (at Texas,” Muhammad said. “I talked to Steve Sarkisian in a meeting in a room with me, him, and my dad, and it went really good.”

Muhammad mentioned Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas, and Texas A&M as some of the programs standing out to him the most right now. He says distance is not a factor but did say that his familiarity with Chris Gilbert helps Texas some.

South Oak Cliff has other D1 prospects in the program, including 2022 cornerback and Texas offer Jayvon Thomas, quarterback Kevin Jennings, 2023 wide receiver Randy Reece, 2023 offensive lineman Brione Ramsey-Brooks, and more.