Oklahoma Sooners

Brent Venables on Jackson Arnold: He’s at the Back of the Line ‘But Not For Long’

Five-star quarterback addition Jackson Arnold is on campus, and it’s clear he’s ready to hit the ground running. Head coach Brent Venables, in introducing all of his newcomers Thursday afternoon in an extensive media setting, offered major praise on the former Denton (Texas) Guyer star.

“He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s driven, he’s humble,” Venables said. “He exemplifies that in every way. He’s a doer, very ambitious. He’s not waiting on anybody, not waiting to be great. In his mind, from a humility standpoint, he feels he’s got a long way to go. He’s a confident guy. He’s a great teammate.


“And he’s trying to learn and grow. And I think that’s just a very refreshing thing to be around. You won’t see Jackson Arnold put the mic in front of you and proclaiming what he’s getting ready to do. It’s just not who he is. It’s not in his DNA. He’s been a great, great leader. He makes everyone around him better. But he’s in the back of the line right now, and probably not for long. And I say that not having to do with anybody else; it’s just in how he competes and how he works. And his talent is really good, too.

“But he’s a guy that he’s gonna quickly build trust from his teammates, respect, his teammates. Which I believe that respect is the greatest thing that you can have in the locker room, is the respect of your teammates. And he quickly has, in a short period of time, earned the respect of his teammates through his work and his actions and his humility.”

Arnold, of course, is expected to step in and immediately serve as Dillon Gabriel’s primary backup. But by the sounds of it, the recent national Top 10 signee isn’t content to simply work in a reserve role.


At Guyer, Arnold threw for just a clip under 7,400 yards, with 67 touchdowns to only eight interceptions. He also rushed for another 1,580 yards and 36 scores.

Arnold finished with a 28-3 overall record as a signal caller in the high-profile 6A Division 2 in Texas. And with all that, he carried the country’s No. 4 quarterback rank as the No. 2 player in the Lone Star State, with a 0.9963 rating, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. He was the No. 10 player nationally, No. 4 quarterback, and the top-ranked player in the Lone Star State, with a five-star and 99 rating, per 247Sports.

Arnold is one of 25 new players stepping on campus that met with the media Thursday afternoon. And now with all those new faces arriving, 56 out of the 71 players who participated in the Valero Alamo Bowl in 2021 are no longer on the roster.

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