QB Arch Manning, #1 recruit in the Class of 2023, commits to Texas


QB Arch Manning, #1 recruit in the Class of 2023, commits to Texas

A rare collision of talent, lineage and opportunity, the recruiting of blue-chip quarterback Arch Manning captivated college football for years.

Manning ended the intrigue Thursday afternoon and committed to Texas via Freier, including Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Clemson and Virginia.

While Manning has long been considered a top player in the Class of 2023, the family has remained keen to keep his recruiting as low-key as possible. His Instagram is private and he was not an active participant in name, image and likeness opportunities. But that was still difficult, given the family tree and the extent to which his decision could affect a program’s fortunes.

Manning even used his first tweet To make the announcement, on a verified Twitter account with a bio that simply says “student”.

Manning is a nephew of Eli and Peyton Manning, a grandson of Archie Manning, and son of former Ole Miss wide receiver Cooper Manning. He’s the star quarterback at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans — throwing for 5,731 yards and 72 touchdowns in his freshman three years of high school football — and has been considered a high-profile player since middle school.

Every bit of news surrounding the quarterback has spread throughout the recruiting universe. The involvement of Manning’s high school teammate and close friend, three-star tight end Will Randle, sparked interest as it offered a clue as to where Manning might be headed.

His commitment to Texas represents both Arch Manning forging his own path and perhaps reconnecting with the family’s SEC roots. The Manning family has close ties to Ole Miss and Tennessee, and Arch Manning could end up as a liaison to the SEC as he could be Texas’ starting quarterback in 2025 if the Longhorns are scheduled to debut at the conference.

The engagement represents Texas’ first No. 1 recruit in the ESPN 300 era (since 2006) and its first quarterback to rank in the top 20 since Garrett Gilbert in 2009. There’s also an important building block for Texas for its 2023 recruit class, with skill players expecting to be drawn to a talent like Manning.

The decision marks a massive victory for Texas coach Steve Sarkisian, especially after a 5-7 debut season that included a home loss to Kansas. Manning’s decision reaffirms Sarkisian as one of the top quarterback tutors in the country and Texas as a quarterback destination. Sarkisian is the Longhorns’ playcaller and has coached quarterbacks such as Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones and Matt Leinart.

Sarkisian also had two stints as an NFL coach with the Raiders and Falcons. Arch Manning’s preparation for the NFL has been a primary motivator as the Mannings have navigated the recruiting process.

The Manning family also developed a close relationship with Texas quarterback coach AJ Milwee, who played a big part in sending him to Austin.

Manning’s decision gives Texas one of the most robust and competitive quarterback spaces in the country. The Longhorns traded Ohio State’s Quinn Ewers, widely considered the best quarterback in the class of 2021. They also have talented quarterbacks in Maalik Murphy, an ESPN 300 recruit in the Class of 2022, and Hudson Card, ESPN’s No. 2nd quarterback recruit in the Class of 2020.

How good is Manning? A coach who recruited him told ESPN that if his last name was anything other than Manning, he’d likely still be No. 1 in his class.

“He has a big arm,” said the coach. “He’s a lot more mobile than everyone thinks. He’s not like a Manning who can’t move. He can get out of trouble. He’s not a statue in your pocket. He played basketball and can dip.

“He’s a prototypical boy who sees the field well. He won’t make bad decisions, won’t make bad plays worse, and will really go on the offensive.”

Manning has built a reputation as a soccer-loving fitness coach. The biggest blow to him is the level of competition in high school as there will be a steep adjustment to college. But the coaches who recruited Manning were blown away by his work ethic as he got down to the details.

“What impressed me is that he lives with the pressure,” said the coach. “He has to live with that pressure and deal with all of this. This could be a good transition for him. He did it his entire high school career. No stage will be too big.”

And for Texas, the signing gives the Longhorns a marquee player to build up for their journey to the SEC. Texas was beaten 40-21 in Arkansas last year — a barometer of how far the program has to go to compete with center field in the conference.

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