Report: Cooks eyes Sooners

Kerry Cooks is a leading candidate to join the Oklahoma coaching staff, just days before National Signing Day. Cooks has been the Irish secondary coach, a one-time co-coordinator and among the program’s top recruiters.

Notre Dame could be out a position coach and one of its best recruiters.

Reports on Sunday indicated that Kerry Cooks, who joined Brian Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame when he arrived in South Bend five years ago, was expected to leave the Irish for Oklahoma. Cooks joined Kelly as the program’s outside linebackers coach, then took over cornerbacks and rose to co-coordinator in 2012-13.

When defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder arrived last season, Cooks was no longer listed as a co-coordinator, instead taking over the entire secondary.

Cooks also rated among Notre Dame’s top recruiters, leading the charge in Texas and Louisiana. In addition to working on the program’s five defensive back commitments, he also played a part with Louisiana products Jerry Tillery and Bo Wallace along with Jalen Guyton of Texas.

Last cycle Cooks played a key part in landing Grant Blankenship, Kolin Hill and Nick Watkins, all Texas products.

Notre Dame commitment Nicco Fertitta told Irish Illustrated on Sunday afternoon that he’d heard of Cooks’ departure but did not know if the reports were to be believed. Mykelti Williams told Irish Illustrated that Cooks leaving the program would not affect his commitment.

John Crawford, father of four-star cornerback Shaun Crawford, told Irish Illustrated via text message that “No matter what the rumors are Shaun has assured his family and his Notre Dame family that he is #GoIrish!”

Crawford spoke with Kelly on Sunday.

Cooks does have a connection to Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. Both are Iowa graduates, although they did not cross paths with the Hawkeyes.


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