Dean Blevins: Future OU Quarterback Jackson Arnold's Not Going Anywhere

News 9 Sports Director Dean Blevins says conjecture about the future of Oklahoma QB Jackson Arnold should be focused on Norman because big weapons are headed to the Sooner State.

Thursday, November 16th 2023, 2:53 pm


Seeing all the speculation, reporting, and hand-wringing going on recently about the University of Oklahoma's quarterback situation moving forward is no surprise.

I said on The Blitz the Sunday night after the Sooners lost Bedlam that OU’s No. 1, 2 and 3 priorities right now should be to do everything needed to ensure that ballyhooed freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold takes the first snap for the Sooners in 2024.

And Saturday’s offensive explosion in a much-needed romp over West Virginia doesn’t change anything. It’s a reminder to Jackson that the atmosphere and offensive explosiveness is still alive and fairly well in Cleveland County.

It would be more than shocking if current Oklahoma starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel returns for another season. He’s been tremendous for OU with his play, his leadership, and being the glue that has kept dicey situations stabilized.

Oklahoma's offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby showed. one week after reaching his and the team’s nadir following the futility in Stillwater, that he’s got a lot of what it’s going to take to survive and at some point in time ‘thrive’ in the SEC.

His growing pains have been difficult for all.

For what it's worth and in my opinion, whether Jeff is OU’s offensive coordinator moving forward or not, I don’t see Arnold going anywhere.

Yes, there are many more millions available from suitors far and wide if Arnold cares to test the waters -- and perhaps from a program that’d be a more likely 2024 title contender.

Why don't I see Arnold going anywhere? Based on my personal history, my familiarity with most issues involved, and lengthy conversations and input from a couple of impeccable on-the-ground sources, who also believe that Jackson Arnold isn’t going anywhere.

He’s enjoyed most everything in his time in Norman with coaches, a nurturing and mature relationship with mentor Gabriel, social life on campus, and new relationships with players. He plans to strap it on with to go battle the Big Boys.

Would a couple of CeeDee Lamb-types help? Duh. But the kid with the elite-looking throw game potential gets No. 1 receiver and injured star transfer Andrel Anthony back, along with a good core of quality receivers, and the very real potential to add a couple of special dudes.

Then there is what should be a gargantuan improvement at tight end play. From a limited and unproductive season to one with unlimited potential. A California high school commit who should overnight inject much-needed elite athleticism and big play ability.

A young Jackson Arnold’s dream.

Davin Mitchell is graduating high school at Los Alamitos in California one year early. The 6-foot, 3-inches tall, 250 pound stallion was a five-star Top 5 overall national prospect in the 2025 class before being re-rated in the ‘23 class. He is still a strong four-star and is highly ranked. In fact, he’s the 4th-highest rated commit in OU’s Top 10 class of ‘23. Seeing his highlights and talking to coaches who’ve studied Mitchell, it won’t surprise if he’s a Day 1 starter. If not, that would be really good news because anyone ranked higher than him on OU’s ‘24 first-game depth chart would have to be one bad dude.

Bottom line: Mitchell is the kind of receiving talent that should matriculate to Norman with Arnold the man under center for the Sooners. 

In sum, instead of sulking and looking for greener pastures, I believe Jackson Arnold is content today.

And thrilled about the prospects of tomorrow.


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