Arch Manning, the No. 1-ranked college football recruit in the 2023 class, committed to Texas on Thursday.
If Manning’s name sounds familiar, it should. A 6-foot-3, 204-pound quarterback at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana, Manning is the nephew of Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli, the grandson of Archie and the son of Cooper.
At first, reports linking Manning to Ole Miss because of his grandfather and uncle, Eli, were prevalent, and Tennessee fans hoped their team could get in the mix with Peyton as an alum. Manning initially had interest in Clemson, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, Texas and a few other programs, and visited Ole Miss, Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Alabama and Texas last fall. He ramped up his process after his junior season, taking visits with Georgia, Alabama and Texas again in June.
How did Texas win the Manning sweepstakes over Georgia and Alabama? And when can we expect to see Manning take the field under center? We break down how Manning’s commitment impacts college football.
How did Texas win the Manning sweepstakes?
Just because the Manning name is on the back of his jersey, Arch didn’t necessarily want to make a decision based on where his family had played or had ties. His father, Cooper, told ESPN that they were very much encouraging him to make a choice for himself and were trying not to put any pressure on him.
Texas had been in on Manning very early in his recruitment, and Sarkisian made him a priority from the start. He was able to get Manning on campus multiple times for visits, and the fact that he was able to establish relationships early on with the Texas staff proved important. His visits really helped him figure out where he wanted to go and which coaches he wanted to play for when he arrives.
“I think, really, it’s just all about fit. He’s kind of formed those initial relationships and I think he just wants to see the campus and it’s really one of those things that it’s about where he sees the best fit,” Isidore Newman coach Nelson Stewart told ESPN in March. “[On his visits,] he was really excited just to get up there and sit in the meetings, watch the workouts, and he loves the practices and the installs so now I think it’s just all about fit and what’s best for him.”
Stewart said Manning was conducting an old-school recruitment, looking at what sets the programs apart. He was asking about what the plan was for the offense, the longevity of the program, the offensive staff, the offensive system, what the quarterback room is like, the relationship with the position coach. All of that factored in, and Texas ended up being the team that checked the most boxes.
How good is Manning?
Very. He’s smart, poised and obviously well-groomed. He has thrown for 5,731 yards, 72 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, while also totaling 671 rushing yards and 17 scores on the ground in his three years of high school. Plus, he’s a superior athlete to his uncles, which makes him a different type of player. He has crafty mobility, is a multisport athlete (he also plays basketball) and is anything but a sitting duck in the pocket. However, with a commitment to the Longhorns, he represents one piece of a very large puzzle in terms of a Texas roster makeover.
How quickly can the Longhorns put the right players around him? From this perspective, the Alabama and Georgia rosters are much further along talent-wise than Texas is at this point. The supporting cast is very important. Manning is a big domino, and now Texas hopes that his commitment will help lure more talent to Austin.