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Seven Denton ISD Graduates to Play in Red River Rivalry

When the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma meet at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday for the 119th Red River Rivalry, seven Denton ISD graduates will be on the sidelines for the Longhorns and Sooners.

On the Texas side, Ryan High School alumni Ja’Tavion Sanders, Anthony Hill Jr. and Austin Jordan will suit up for the Longhorns. On the Oklahoma side, Guyer High School alumni Jackson Arnold and Peyton Bowen, and Ryan High alumni Billy Bowman Jr. and Kalib Hicks will suit up for the Sooners.

Ja’Tavion, Anthony, Austin, Billy and Kalib each won a state championship in 2020, helping the Ryan Raiders to an undefeated 15-0 season. Jackson and Peyton, meanwhile, helped the Guyer Wildcats reach the Class 6A Division II state championship game in 2021.

A consensus five-star recruit and the 2022-2023 Gatorade National Player of the Year, Jackson compiled a 28-3 overall record at Guyer and threw for over 7,000 passing yards and 67 touchdowns in two full seasons as a starter. In addition, Jackson and his teammate, Peyton, were Under Armour All-Americans in their final season at Guyer High.

Ja’Tavion and Anthony were also consensus five-star recruits. Widely regarded as the top tight end in the country, Ja’Tavion is one of the Longhorns’ leading receivers this year, hauling in 13 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown through five games.

As just a freshman, Anthony has already made an impact, recording two sacks and four tackles in Texas’ road victory over Alabama in Week 2. Anthony was also an Under Armour All-American as a senior at Ryan High in 2022.

Last season as a freshman, Austin appeared in all 13 games for the Longhorns, primarily on special teams. He was a member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll in Fall 2022.

For the Sooners, Billy has become a staple in Oklahoma’s secondary. As a sophomore in 2022, Billy played in 11 games and made nine starts. He intercepted three passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble, and was an All-Big 12 honorable mention selection.

Kalib is a freshman at Oklahoma, and coming out of Ryan High, was a top-50 running back prospect. He ran for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns in his career with the Raiders.