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Jackson Arnold, Oklahoma QB pledge and Elite 11 MVP, should be higher than No. 99 in SI99: Making the case

SBLive Sports Director of Recruiting Andrew Nemec makes the case for Jackson Arnold to be higher than No. 99 in SI99

Sports Illustrated released its SI99 rankings Tuesday, listing the top 99 football prospects in America for the class of 2023.

These lists are always subjective and fluid, particularly during the football season, so I imagine there will be some tweaks over the coming weeks.

But one ranking stuck out to me as particularly glaring: Denton High School (Texas) quarterback Jackson Arnold at No. 99 nationally

SI99 rated him as the nation's No. 11 quarterback, behind Dante Moore (No. 1; Oregon), Nico Iamaleava (No. 4; Tennessee), Jaden Rashada (No. 7; Miami), Malachi Nelson (No. 8; USC), Arch Manning (No. 10; Texas), Chris Vizzina (No. 35; Clemson) JJ Kohl (No. 50; Iowa State), Dylan Lonergan (No. 53; Alabama), Austin Novosad (No. 70; Baylor) and Kenny Minchey (No. 80; Pittsburgh).

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound signal-caller is the reigning Elite 11 MVP and beat out may of the names above him at the camp just weeks ago.

While Arnold lacks the elite physical traits of big-time quarterback - he's 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and his arm talent is defined by accuracy rather than strength - he is rapidly climbing up most rankings due to his polish at the position.

For example, Arnold is rated the nation's No. 16 overall prospect and No. 5 quarterback in the composite 247Sports rankings - a climb from No. 233 last fall.  

As a junior, he accumulated 3,921 yards and 34 touchdowns passing with an additional 659 yards and 12 scores on the ground. 

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In contrast, Miami-bound quarterback Jaden Rashada (No. 7 in SI99) stands 6-foot-4, 185 pounds and has a high ceiling thanks to his projectable tools.

But I think the recruiting community would be split - if not favoring Arnold - when it comes to who is going to have the better collegiate career. 

I love both players, but don't think 90 spots separates them. 

In what can safely be dubbed "the year of the quarterback," Arnold has the resume of one of America's top passers.

I'd like him to be 50-plus spots higher.

Of course, had anyone argued that bluechip quarterback prospects Jacob Eason (class of 2016), Hunter Johnson (2017), Justin Rogers (2018) and Bo Nix (2019) would all experience significant ups and down that forced them all to transfer folks would've thought that person was crazy.

In other words, ranking teenagers is an inexact science, so take it all with a grain of salt and have fun with the debate. 

Junior season highlights