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Jackson Arnold, Danny Stutsman, Billy Bowman to represent OU at SEC Media Days

headshotby:George Stoia07/08/24

GeorgeStoia

It’s no surprise who will be representing OU at SEC Media Days next week in Dallas.

Quarterback Jackson Arnold, linebacker Danny Stutsman and safety Billy Bowman will speak at media days at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas on Tuesday, July 16. The conference announced the attendees for each school on Monday. Each school will be represented by three players in addition to the team’s head coach. The full schedule of what time OU will speak on Tuesday has yet to be released, but each day will be broadcast on SEC Network.

Arnold, Stutsman and Bowman were the clear choices for the Sooners this year.

Stutsman and Bowman, who are entering their final seasons in Norman, have been pillars in Brent Venables’ program. And both are expected to be two of OU’s best players in 2024. Both were first-team All-Big 12 selections last year and both have a chance to make the All-SEC preseason team this year, which will be announced at the end of SEC Media Days on July 18.

“Billy was a fantastic athlete and really more of a skill player coming out of high school. Hadn’t really sunk his teeth in when it comes to learning a defensive position,” Venables said in Destin at SEC Spring Meetings. “So he got baptized early in his career and then just developed into an All-American. And then hungry for more. My exit meeting with him post-season was just amazing. He and his family and the humility, the respect he has for the game, and his self-awareness on who he wanted to be. And that’s really cool. That’s a refreshing perspective. He give you all the details if he wants to one day.

“Danny Stutsman, a guy who wasn’t rated real high, but is a guy who has worked his butt off to develop not only as a football player but as a leader. He calls me. He’s back in town a week early and he comes over — he calls and says, ‘Hey can I come by on Sunday?’ … We’ve got a lot of unselfish players out there, but that’s ambition. On a Sunday — ‘Hey, I want to come by if you don’t mind, coach.’ Shows up with a notepad.”

As for Arnold, he was also an obvious choice. Not just because he’s the quarterback, but because he has grown as a leader as he enters his second year at OU. Taking over for Dillon Gabriel, who transferred to Oregon, will be no easy task. But there are high hopes for Arnold inside the building at Oklahoma. The Sooners believe he has all the right tools to find success as OU’s starter.

“All good football teams, at a really high level, are going to be quarterback-driven,” Venables said. “The quarterback can’t play ‘alright’ and then the team be really good. That’s a given. That’s the arena Jackson knows he has stepped into. But the good thing is, usually on those good teams, the quarterback is surrounded by a good football team.

“So just playing within the systems and being spectacular when he wants to — that always helps. Jackson’s going to focus on Jackson. And Jackson’s going to focus on improving and being the best version of himself. And he’s a guy that knows the tough moments are a part of that position.”

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