Four-star athlete Mookie Cooper became the fourth member of Texas’ 2020 recruiting class on Saturday when he pledged to the Longhorns at junior day. The St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic product is the fourth-ranked athlete in the country and a national top-75 player in the 2020 cycle. He’s Texas’ highest-rated pledge so far in the class that includes quarterback Hudson Card and offensive linemen Logan Parr, Jake Majors and Jaylen Garth, who became UT’s fifth pledge on Sunday.
Cooper is set to the play H-Back at Texas. It’s a position that requires versatility and there’s no better way to describe the 5-11 prospect from the same high school that produced 2019 wide receiver signee Marcus Washington. Cooper is a slot receiver/running back combo similar to Jordan Whittington in terms of his potential role.
Texas became a contender for Cooper on his first visit to Texas this time of the year as a sophomore. When Washington committed to the Longhorns it seemed like Cooper was destined to wear burnt orange.
“Since I came the first time, I knew I liked the school. Each time I was here it triggered the thought that Texas was the place,” Cooper said Saturday after junior day. “It was going to happen before the (football) season, so today felt right.”
Cooper is the first skill-position prospect to commit in a fast-paced class. Texas’ fourth pledge of its 2019 class came on March 10 when De’Gabriel Floyd pledged. But the early signing period puts more pressure on juniors. A large chunk of the class is now signed by Christmas and the focus is fully shifted after national signing day in February. Cooper knew his destination and wanted to alleviate the stress.
“It can get overwhelming as a junior when the attention starts coming your way after the seniors sign,” Cooper said. “This is where I wanted to go, so I made my choice.”
Joining a former teammate in Washington didn’t hurt Texas’ cause.
“It’s the icing on the cake,” Cooper admitted. “He’s going to keep my head on right and I can go to and get advice from if I’m lost.”
Texas’ plans for the offensive side of the ball in the 2020 class are becoming clear. The Longhorns secured a quarterback early, added a pair of interior linemen and then plucked a premier playmaker from out of state. Spots should fill up quickly in a class predicted to be under the 25-man scholarship limit.
Offensive tackles Chad Lindberg and Damien George are the top targets left along the offensive line. Zach Evans, Kendall Milton and Jase McClellan are the top running backs on the board. Cooper is considered a wide receiver commit and the need at that position lessened when five-star Bru McCoy transferred from USC. Troy Omeire and Demond Demas are the best prospects in the state.
A true tight end target is hard to find with Seth Figgins committed to Oregon.