Ashton Cozart is a 6’3.5 receiver from Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas. Currently, 247Sports grade him as a 92/100, good for a solid four-star rating. Additionally, 247 sports consider him to be the 18th-ranked receiver nationally, the 25th ranked player in the state of Texas, and the 140th overall player nationally. Cozart has previously been committed to the Oklahoma Sooners. Given all the recent changes amongst the OU coaching staff, it is unsurprising that Cozart decided to take a step back to re-evaluate his options. During his recruiting process, Cozart received many offers. According to 247 sports, Cozart received offers from Oregon, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Houston, Jackson State, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCF, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
After reevaluating his options Cozart decided to de-commit from the Oklahoma Sooners, flipping his commitment to the Oregon Ducks and first-year Head Coach Dan Lanning.
According to OurLads.com, the Ducks projected depth chart at the receiver position includes Troy Franklin (So.), Dont’e Thornton, Seven McGee (So.), Isaah Crocker (Rs Jr.), Chase Cota (Sr. Tr.), Kris Huston (So.), Isaiah Brevard (Rs Fr.), Josh Delgado (Jr.), and Justius Lowe (Fr.).
Additionally, Oregon football will bring in four-star Kyler Kasper this fall. For the 2023 class, they will also be bringing in highly touted four-star Jurrion Dickey.
Looking at Cozart’s game film there were a handful of things that stood out. Starting with some of his strengths, he has great reflexes and can easily shift his body while running routes. He also has great hands and can effectively catch all types of passes downfield regardless of coverage. According to 247 sports, he has a verified 4.45, 40-yard dash. That's a strong time for a high school junior. He can train to lower it a bit more over the next year as well.
There are a couple of negative habits that could be fixed at some point. First, Cozart fails to secure the ball on multiple occasions while making catches in the open field. Instead, he opts to run with it in one hand or low to his side. This usually is not a huge issue, but as he faces a higher level of competition, he won’t be able to continue this without facing a significant risk of fumbling the ball. Also, on a significant majority of plays where he attempts to fake out defenders, he almost always goes right as the final move. At the collegiate level, he must be able to change this up. Being predictable means that opponents can easily gameplan for you, significantly reducing the chance of impacting the game. This being said, his fakes are highly effective and if fine-tuned could be deadly at the next level.
Based on the depth Oregon has added at receiver, it's unlikely that Cozart sees significant playing time early. Likely, he will have to sit and develop in the first year, though his upside as a contested catcher and as a deep threat could score him sometime early depending on the health of the receiver’s room. He projects to be playing significant minutes by his junior season.
Overall, I really like this addition for the Oregon Ducks and Dan Lanning. Adding more quality pieces at premium positions will be essential for Oregon to compete for Pac-12 Championships in the new open conference format.