football Edit

Stars are Big and Bright

DENTON, Texas - Though Oklahoma has always placed huge importance on recruiting the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex it's rare at any point in the last 20 years when seven players on an area high school field hold Sooner scholarship offers. But that's exactly the situation that took place last Thursday night when Oklahoma 2023 quarterback commitment Jackson Arnold and his Guyer Wildcats hosted the Allen Eagles and their 2024 quarterback offer Michael Hawkins.

On the night Arnold was an insanely impressive 25-28 for 334 yards and four touchdowns and did just a bit of everything for the Guyer offense. Lots has been said about Arnold that is more than fair from his accuracy and his skillset throwing deep but it was his athleticism that really stood out against Allen.

Not so much his ability with his feet, though a 58-yard touchdown run up the Guyer sideline was awfully eye-catching, it was his athleticism with his throws.

Arnold has impressive body control and time and again showed the ability to manipulate his release point and yet still hit receivers in the right spots to allow them to turn up field and make plays.

It's a hard thing to describe but the bottom line is that Arnold could find his way through traffic and deliver balls in the best way possible to help his pass-catchers pick up yardage after the catch.

Hawkins on the other hand had a night he'll hope to grow from while going 10-19 for 89 yards. While it wasn't what he'd hoped to put on tape, Hawkins still showed plenty of the ability that exists for the nation's No. 165 prospect in 2024.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect flashed plenty of athleticism but it was more about watching how he found success through the air on the night. When plays broke down or he worked outside of the pocket he looked far more comfortable and delivered several impressive throws.

At times Texas' No. 23 overall prospect looked less comfortable with straight drops but as a young quarterback the more and more time that passes he figures to only become more comfortable within the entirety of the Eagles offense.

Hawkins has immense potential and all the tools you look for. It will be interesting to follow his progress, as he continues to refine his game he's got a chance to climb in the rankings.

For all of the considerable talent on the field it's hard to think of a player who was more impressive than Rivals100 safety and five-star candidate Peyton Bowen. The Notre Dame commitment had a punt return that anyone on hand will remember for a long time but it was his aggression and style on defense that really caught the eye.

Not surprisingly Bowen was rarely challenged but when an Allen ball carrier did find himself around Bowen he made a point to separate them from the ball and delivered multiple big hits.

Bowen is a high end athlete that mixes in a load of physicality. In short, he's as good a safety as you'll find in the country.

NOTES: 

*There is more than one high end talent in the Guyer secondary as Bowen is joined by his younger brother Eli Bowen as well as Ryan Yaites. Bowen is a twitchy corner who moves incredibly well and has some outstanding natural cover instincts. He was rarely challenged but his skillset is hard to ignore. Yaites meanwhile had a quiet night but working more and more in the middle of the field has seemed to be a real home for him.

*Sticking on the defensive side of the ball without question of the most impressive prospects on hand was Allen's 2024 Rivals100 defensive end Zina Umeozulu. He wasn't as impactful as he may have hoped but Umeozulu showed great burst and length and has all the tools required to be an elite pass rusher. It's just a matter of putting those tools together.

*But perhaps the most overwhelming athlete on the field was 2025 Rivals100 tight end Davon Mitchell. The big pass catcher took a while to get going but ended up with two receptions for 41 yards. He showed impressive feet and the ability to stretch the field. At 6-foot-4 that ability makes him a lethal option up the field.