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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Four-star 2023 QB recruit Jackson Arnold commits to OU

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New offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby is taking a new approach to QB recruiting.

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Oklahoma Sooners have secured the quarterback for their 2023 recruiting class after securing a commitment from consensus four-star prospect Jackson Arnold of Denton (Texas) Guyer.

Arnold currently checks in at 72nd overall in 247Sports Composite rankings for 2023 and seventh among quarterbacks.

Arnold is the second signal caller who has committed to the Sooners since Brent Venables was hired as head coach in December. New offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jeff Lebby also landed Nick Evers out of Flower Mound (Texas) as part of the 2022 recruiting class. Evers enrolled early at OU and will go through spring football this year.

The state of OU’s QB room became an area of concern in Norman after Lincoln Riley stepped down as OU’s head coach last year to take over at USC. Two five-star triggermen, Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams, have since left the program. Malachi Nelson, a five-star prospect from California in the ‘23 class, also dropped his commitment to the Sooners to follow Riley and join the Trojans next year.

While OU can no longer bank on Riley’s reputation as a QB guru to attract major star power at the position, Arnold’s commitment fits with a shift in strategy at filling out the QB room. Riley’s Rattler-Williams-Nelson trifecta signaled his intention to bring in a top-tier prospect every other year with a less-heralded recruit in between. The approach all but guaranteed coveted players like Rattler and Williams would take over behind center in their second season on campus.

Lebby doesn’t appear to be reading from that playbook. He already solidified the QB room by adding fourth-year transfer Dillon Gabriel, a former Central Florida star. Meanwhile, OU is also pursuing transfer Jaxson Dart, who started last season as a freshman at USC, to compete with Gabriel and Evers for the starting job in the spring. Arnold would give OU a prospect of similar caliber to Evers once 2023 rolls around.

With a QB in place, Venables and the rest of the OU coaching staff can concentrate on building around Arnold in the ‘23 class. The Sooners already have a commitment from blue-chip wide receiver DeAndre Moore Jr. from California and three-star offensive lineman Joshua Bates out of Colorado.