Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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52 PRESEASON 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PREP PROFILES Notre Dame doesn't extend many scholarship offers at the quarterback position. Denton (Texas) Guyer's Jack- son Arnold became the Irish's fifth signal-caller offer thus far in the 2023 cycle, which is the most for Notre Dame since 2019 when it offered 10 quarterbacks. Arnold received his tender from Notre Dame quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees Aug. 4. The 6-2, 195-pounder threw for Rees during a prospect camp on June 22, which played a big part in Arnold receiving the offer a few weeks later. "I kept on building my relationship with Coach Rees," Arnold told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "He told me he was going to offer me a while back, so I just had to be patient and let them sort things out. "I'm very happy that they offered. It's a really big school and a huge op- portunity for me. I really enjoyed it up there. The school has a great history, and they had Ian Book. The career he had there really opens my eyes to what they can do at the quarterback posi- tion. It's a place I can think about going to in the future." Even though Rees told Arnold that an offer would be coming, the rising junior prospect wasn't expecting to re- ceive the news when he did. "It surprised me a little bit," Arnold said. "I was calling to check in, like I normally do. He told me that they had a scholarship offer for me, and that was really cool. He told me that he can't wait for me to tear it up this season and lead the team. "He's going to keep checking in with me. I think he's a really good person and coach." Arnold's South Bend visit in June left a lasting impression. "I thought the campus was awe- some," he said. "It was really cool, and the facilities were really nice, especially the indoor. The campus was great, and I really liked the coaches, too." During his sophomore season in 2020, Arnold completed 15 of 26 passes for 140 yards as the backup to Eli Stow- ers, a four-star now at Texas A&M. Arnold holds offers from Arkan- sas, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Michi- gan State, Mississippi, North Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, TCU and Tulsa. — Mike Singer Avery Johnson went into the week of July 25 not planning on throwing for the Notre Dame coaching staff. How- ever, that's exactly what the class of 2023 quarterback from Maize (Kan.) High ended up doing. He made a visit to campus July 27 and put on a show for the staff. "Coach [Tommy] Rees asked me Monday if I wanted to throw, and ob- viously, I took that opportunity," John- son said. "When I got there, he asked me if I wanted to run the 40 and do the broad jump and shuttle, and with my competitive nature, I didn't want to turn any of that down." Johnson reports that he ran a 4.60 in the 40-yard dash, which validates his speed as a dual-threat quarterback. "We started off with a couple of drills, and then I was throwing to stationary receivers," Johnson continued. "I got with this 2024 tight end [Jack Larsen] and threw to him, and he did well. Overall, I had a pretty good day." The visit ended with the nation's No. 244 overall prospect receiving an offer from Notre Dame, so it certainly was a successful visit. "It didn't happen until the very end of the visit," Johnson said about receiv- ing his verbal scholarship offer from the Irish. "[Rees] told me that he talked to Coach [Brian] Kelly, and they chat- ted about me for a little bit. "Coach Kelly came over and talked to me and my family for a little bit and said he wanted to offer me a scholar- ship. I was smiling from ear to ear; I couldn't be more excited and blessed." Notre Dame is the 14th school to tender Johnson, who also visited Min- nesota, Iowa State, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Florida State and Kansas State this summer. "I was very impressed," he said of Notre Dame. "We saw so much, but at the same time, so little. There's so much history and culture behind the University of Notre Dame that we only got a small glimpse of it. "I just want to come back for a game this year, so I can see the game en- vironment. The videos we saw of it aren't going to be enough. I want to come back and take it in fully." During an 11-game season in 2020, John- son completed 117 of 207 passes for 2,109 yards with 25 touchdowns and three interceptions, plus tallied 10 rushing scores. — Mike Singer Notre Dame Offers Intriguing Texas Quarterback Four-Star Quarterback Impresses Tommy Rees, Earns Offer AVERY JOHNSON ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Maize H.S. Maize, Kan. Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Quarterback Ht.: 6-3 • Wt.: 170 Rivals Rankings: No. 3 dual- threat quarterback and No. 244 overall player nationally JACKSON ARNOLD Guyer H.S. Denton, Texas Status: Offered Class: 2023 Position: Quarterback Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 195 Rivals Rankings: Not cur- rently rated "I really enjoyed it up there. The school has a great history, and they had Ian Book. The career he had there really opens my eyes to what they can do at the quarterback position. It's a place I can think about going to in the future." Arnold on Notre Dame "I was very impressed with all of the campus, facilities and coaches. They definitely made sure I had a good time and took care of me. I'm very thankful for that." Johnson on his Notre Dame visit in July

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