Success on the recruiting trail in Texas in nothing new for Ohio State and head coach Urban Meyer, who has signed a handful of highly sought-after prospects from the Lone Star State during his tenure. But never to the degree of the 2017 recruiting cycle, when the Buckeyes landed three of the state's top six players.
Repeating that feat in 2018 isn't going to be easy, but also doesn't seem so far-fetched after Houston Lamar five-star cornerback Anthony Cook included Ohio State in his Top 3 on Monday night alongside LSU and Texas.
The 6-foot-1, 168-pound Cook is considered the second-best cornerback and No. 13 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He visited Columbus for the first time with his family for the Spring Game in mid-April, and couldn't stop gushing when asked what stood out about the Buckeyes.
“Three defensive backs in the first round. That's enough for me,” Cook told Eleven Warriors at Nike Football's The Opening Finals earlier this month. “If you can put my position in the league, that's always attractive. I know if I go to Ohio State, I will be developed, I'll be challenged every day in practice because they have some of the best receivers and [the cornerbacks are] on a high pedestal, so scouts and stuff are looking at them.”
Cook's recruitment seemingly marks the first real battle between Meyer and his former protégé Tom Herman — who has helped the Longhorns to a Top 5 recruiting ranking before coaching a game in Austin — but the Tigers also find themselves in a good place thanks to their history of sending defensive backs to the next level, too.
“Whatever school I can come in and have a chance to play right away [is where I'll go],” Cook said. “Somewhere I can get developed and they have to put my position in the league. All of those schools have that, so it will be tough. I'll just pray and hopefully I'll make the right decision.”