Oklahoma’s recruiting class took a major hit following the departure of head coach Lincoln Riley, but it now gets a major boost with the commitment of a four-star recruit.
Guyer High School (Denton, Texas) quarterback Jackson Arnold became Oklahoma’s first 2023 recruit since the hiring of first-year head coach Brent Venables. Arnold made his commitment known on Twitter.
Arnold joins the Sooners following a big junior year with the Wildcats in which he was named a Co-MVP for Texas District 5-6A. The 6’1, 195 pounder threw for 3,921 yards and 34 touchdowns, completing 67 percent of his passes. He also added 659 rushing yards to go with 12 rushing touchdowns.
Arnold also received offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Ole Miss, and Cincinnati, among others. He went with Oklahoma, who made him a top target following the hiring of new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby.
Lebby made an offer to Arnold when he was still at Ole Miss. Arnold then became one of the first offers that Lebby made when he was officially hired by the Sooners.
Here is the 247 Sports scouting profile on Arnold from Midlands Region Recruiting Analyst Gabe Brooks:
“Adequate height with the requisite frame and solid build. Functional athlete with enough suddenness in tight quarters to evade pass rushers and extend plays. RPO threat. Ball gets out fast with good velocity to multiple levels. Very good touch passer, whether vertically to the perimeter or elsewhere. Displays the requisite deep-ball strength fostered by a loose, live arm. Changes delivery angle as needed and maintains zip and accuracy. Shows ability to layer throws and beat zone windows. Good runner with above average speed relative to position and open-field lateral nuance that yields extra yards. Advanced pocket presence and rush awareness. Uses the inverted pivot to buy time and find receivers. Accurate from the pocket and on the move.”
“Owns the desired demeanor for the position. Calm, poised, and competitive. Strong production vs. elite competition relative to the high school level (Texas 6A). Led team to Texas 6A D-II state title appearance as a junior. Values the ball. Only five interceptions in 445 throws as a junior (one INT every 89 attempts). Big enough but lacks elite frame potential. Deep shots occasionally have too much air. Through 2021 season appears to be the clear No. 1 QB in Texas for the 2023 recruiting cycle. Projects as a high-major starter for multiple years with a long-term NFL Draft ceiling.”
Arnold joins center Joshua Bates and wide receiver DeAndre Moore in Oklahoma’s 2023 class. Bates and Moore are the lone 2023 recruits remaining from the Lincoln Riley era.
The Sooners lost five recruits from their once top ranked class after Lincoln Riley left, but with the addition of Jackson Arnold, things are trending back in the right direction for Oklahoma.