Year of the Quarterback

Jackson Arnold’s days as Guyer’s star quarterback are over. But the school, his teammates, and the rest of the high school sports-loving world are still celebrating him. And for a good reason.

On January 12, Arnold was named the 2022-23 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year following a senior season in which he threw for 3,476 yards, rushed for another 921, and accounted for 57 total touchdowns while leading Guyer to the Class 6A Division II state semifinals.

Arnold, now at Oklahoma, was presented with the award by Dallas Cowboys legend and Liberty Christian football coach Jason Witten. He is the first football player from Denton ISD to take home the distinguished award.

“It’s a good closing to my high school story,” Arnold told the Denton Record-Chronicle after his big day. “I’m actually leaving for college in two days, so this is probably the best wrap to my high school career and my high school experience that I can get.”

He also told, “It means a lot. It’s the most prestigious award that a high schooler can get, and to see my name etched with other high schoolers that have won this award, it’s pretty special.”

Gatorade is in its 38th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes. Per a press release from Gatorade, Arnold was picked from more than one million other student-athletes who play high school football nationwide, topping the list of state winners in football who collectively boast an impressive inventory of accomplishments. The list includes 27 players with signed National Letters of Intent to play football at Division I colleges/universities and 32 with a GPA of 3.5 and above.

“This 2023 class is the ‘year of the quarterback,’ and there are likely five signal-callers rated among the Top 15 prospects in the country,” Greg Biggins, a national recruiting analyst for 247 Sports, said in the press release. “Arnold is in that group and easily among the nation’s best. He has the kind of skill set that should make every Oklahoma fan very excited, and it wouldn’t shock us if he sees the field sooner than later. He has a live, accurate arm and can put the ball anywhere he wants. He’s also a very capable runner and can stress a defense with his arm or his legs. He’s a tough kid who will stand in and take a shot and never shies away from contact. He’s also a natural leader — a winner. And when you combine his on-the-field prowess with his high-end academic background, he is a very deserving choice for this honor.”

But it wasn’t Arnold’s only award of the year. As one of two players given the title of Gatorade’s Texas Football Player of the Year, Arnold was lined-up to win the national award. And in December, he was named MaxPreps’ Texas High School Football Player of the Year.

Arnold was also named a 2022 Tom Landry Award winner.

On behalf of the team at Murray Media Group, we would like to congratulate Jackson Arnold. We can’t wait to watch you play on Saturdays for the Sooners. Who knows, perhaps the NFL will come calling as well.

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