‘I had a lot of fun’: Jackson Arnold flashed his potential in OU’s spring game

NORMAN — The past few weeks haven’t been easy for Jackson Arnold.

The freshman quarterback admits that OU’s spring football period has been a challenge. It’s hard to learn the Sooners’ playbook. It’s hard to navigate their intense practices. It’s hard to balance classes with time on the field.

But as Arnold trotted onto the field for the final drive of OU’s Red-White spring game on Saturday, he wanted to end things on a high note.

OU’s offense (Red) trailed 82-76 with five minutes left in the contest. The first team to reach 84 points would be named the winner, meaning Arnold could win it for his group with a touchdown and 2-point conversion.

“We had to score, no matter what, to win the game,” Arnold said.

Arnold marched his team down to the 30-yard line before taking the seventh snap of the drive. The former five-star quarterback looked up the middle and saw Gavin Freeman, who had a step on his defender.

Arnold delivered a laser pass that narrowly eluded freshman defensive back Peyton Bowen before falling into the gloves of Freeman for the game-tying touchdown.

A failed two-point conversion ultimately secured an 84-82 win for OU’s defense (White), but Arnold’s late-game heroics still served as a fitting ending to his spring. He finished 6 of 14 for 64 yards and a touchdown.

“Without that last drive, it wouldn’t have been as fun of a game,” Arnold said. “I think that last drive put a great bow on top of spring ball.”

More: OU football report card: Peyton Bowen, defensive newcomers shine in Sooners’ spring game

OU quarterback Jackson Arnold throws a pass during OU's spring football game at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.

OU quarterback Jackson Arnold throws a pass during OU’s spring football game at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.

All eyes were on Arnold during OU’s spring game.

It marked the first opportunity for fans to get a glimpse of the freshman, who was rated by ESPN as the top quarterback in his class.

Arnold played on plenty of big stages during his time with Denton Guyer. His team reached the Texas 6A Division II semifinals last season and played inside the Ford Center, a practice facility for the Dallas Cowboys that has a max capacity of 12,000 spectators.

But that didn’t compare to the crowd of 54,409 spectators at Saturday’s spring game.

“Definitely,” Arnold said when asked if he was nervous. “I’ve never played in front of (50,000-plus). I was definitely a little nervous.”

To Arnold’s surprise, those nerves went away once he got onto the field for his first drive.

“I felt really comfortable today for some reason,” Arnold said. “Maybe because it was the game, the spring game, but I felt comfortable out there and felt like this is where I needed to be.”

With his nerves settled, Arnold nearly delivered the first highlight play of the day.

Arnold took a snap early in the first quarter and found a hole on the left side. He ran all the way into the end zone for a 53-yard touchdown, but his celebrations were short-lived.

OU’s quarterbacks weren’t allowed to get tackled on Saturday. And because senior defensive back Key Lawrence passed up on a clean hit near the line of scrimmage, the touchdown was overturned to a gain of just three yards.

“I was definitely close enough to get touched,” Arnold said. “I wish I could have scored a touchdown, but I’m good.”

More: OU football spring game takeaways: Jackson Arnold shows ‘poise’ in Sooners debut

The rest of the day proved to be a learning process for Arnold, who got sacked five times and had three passes deflected.

But the freshman also flashed his potential, and that was on full display during OU’s final drive. It was a day filled with ups and downs, but it’s one Arnold enjoyed nonetheless.

“I definitely could have played better, but I’m super excited to play in an environment like that,” Arnold said. “Being in high school four months ago and playing my first college game now is really surreal. It’s everything I expected and more. I had a lot of fun.”

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OU football: Jackson Arnold flashed his potential in spring game

Want to get worth reading articles in your email? want to catch what's going on in the world?

We do not spam but sent you only important news stories 🙂

News Agencies

About Author

The latest news from the News Agencies

You may also like

italy wins uefa euro 2020

Italy wins on penalties UEFA EURO 2020 Final, Italy vs England highlights:

Italy wins the UEFA Euro 2020 Final: Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two penalties as the Azzurri claimed their second EURO title
raybak abdesselem
Editor Picks Sports

Raybak Abdesselem is excited to be a part of Olympics 2024

If ever you are looking for a story to be inspired by, then there are few better people to turn