Senior QB for Denton Guyer, Jackson Arnold, recently suited up for a primetime performance against Allen and put up numbers that have Sooner fans even more excited for his arrival to Norman next season.
Arnold, a five-star prospect and 2023 Oklahoma commit, threw for 400 yards while accounting for five touchdowns.
Here is a breakdown of various plays, discussing some of the athletic elements that contribute to his lofty ranking as a quarterback prospect.
In this first video, we see Arnold’s processing power as he quickly feels the pressure from the edge rusher who beats the right tackle shortly after the snap of the ball. He adjusts his arm angle accordingly to ensure the completion of the pass.
Next, we see Arnold do some ”quarterback things.” Former Sooner, and fellow contributor at Sooners360, Damian Mackey, has mentioned the Baker Mayfield vibes he gets from Arnold. Mayfield had a fantastic internal clock and understood how to use his sturdy frame, something Arnold also possesses. I love seeing Arnold stay relaxed while knowing his pocket is shrinking, not fluctuating his hip height, maintaining balance, and delivering a strong throw.
Above, we see more glimpses into Arnold’s pocket mobility. He has strong variability in his movement and responds based on what is in front of him, as opposed to reverting to easily predictable patterns in the pocket. Movement variability leads to success. For example, Steph Curry is not the most athletic player in the NBA but succeeds due to his arsenal of directions and angles he can create which does not allow the defender to easily predict his movement.
After some economical steps through the pocket, Arnold fits a point guard-like throw in between defenders. Even when he’s on the run, he quickly finds balance and executes.
Finally, we take a look at Arnold running with the football, and not the play that most expected to see (we’ll be looking at that in another post).
In this video, I point out his shin angle during acceleration. Shin angle plays a critical role, as well as lower body power and core strength when it comes to having the capability to be a stronger accelerator.
One area in which Arnold may need to improve is his close-proximity moves to evade unnecessary contact. Typically, this comes with coaching, improved mobility, and development in quickness and agility. Of course, the strength he will gain while at Oklahoma will help this contact be less meaningful but as the quarterback for the Sooners, he will want to avoid these collisions as much as possible.