Mike Farrell on Jackson Arnold: ‘I Think He Becomes the Full-Time Starter at Some Point’ In 2023
College football writer Mike Farrell released his ‘Fact or Fiction’ piece Tuesday, and it includes quite the bold prediction regarding the Oklahoma Sooners. Think quarterback.
“Dillon Gabriel is the man for the Sooners but he’s also injury prone and Arnold, the 5-star QB in the 2023 class, is way too talented to sit,” Farrell wrote. “Not only will he see quality minutes this season, but I think he becomes the full time starter at some point either due to injury or poor play from Gabriel.”
As lofty as it is, Farrell actually isn’t the first to have this take. Last month, 247Sports experts Andrew Ivins and Blair Angulo offered similar thoughts.
“Well, he was the Gatorade National Player of the Year,” said 247Sports Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins. “We saw him in Orlando at the Under-Armour All-America Game. I mentioned in the past I’ve been going to that game for so long. I think Jackson Arnold might have been the top quarterback there. If Cade Klubnik can play as a freshman at Clemson, then I think Jackson Arnold can push for playing time there at Oklahoma. And I know I keep saying that, but I truly believe in this. This is a guy that fits what the Sooners want to do on offense under Jeff Lebby. I mean, he’s a guy who’s going to spread it out, run the RPOs. He’s a gamer, 28-3 in Texas, one of Texas’ highest classifications over the past two seasons. I think he just improvises. He gets it done. He’s gonna beat you with his legs, and he’s gonna beat you with his arm. You see it here on the film. So, I’m a big fan. Like, if you had to bet on a quarterback to play, I would take him, Jackson Arnold, before Nico Iamaleava in 2023.”
Said Angulo: “I think as much as we question why Arch Manning didn’t do the camp scene and why Nico Iamaleava was missing from the Elite 11 or the All-American Bowl, well, Jackson Arnold showed up at the Elite 11; and he was maybe the best quarterback that week, you know, beating guys like Dante Moore and Malachi Nelson. So, he’s going out and competing and really showing out, and I think that’s what really struck me about him. And winning that Gatorade National Player of the Year is a huge honor. It’s a list that includes guys like Kyler Murray most recently. And he reminds me a lot of Baker Mayfield and just his improvisation and his ability to just be a gamer and he takes a big hit and he will go and play. Right? I think that’s the mold that he’s built with.”
Arnold, with a 0.9963 rating, is the country’s No. 4 quarterback and No. 2 player in the Lone Star State, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. He’s the No. 10 player nationally, No. 4 quarterback and top-ranked player in the Lone Star State, with a five-star and 99 rating, per 247Sports.
He threw for more than 7,000 yards and 67 passing touchdowns to only eight interceptions, while also rushing for another 1,580 yards and 36 scores over his two seasons as a starter at Denton (Texas) Guyer. Arnold compiled a 28-3 record.
Gabriel, meanwhile, is back for his second and final season in a Crimson and Cream uniform. He threw for 3,168 yards and 25 touchdowns to six interceptions, completing 62.7% of his passes.