Arch Manning had the opportunity to follow his grandfather Archie and his uncle Elie Ole Miss. He could have followed in the footsteps of his second uncle Peyton and played in Tennessee. He was given the opportunity to join the largest college football dynasty of all time in Alabama. He could also have made ties with Georgia’s defending champions. Instead, Manning decided to write his legacy.
With his first tweet, Arch Manning, the overall quarterback of the 2023 class and arguably the highest-profile prospect in recruiting history, committed to Texas. Given his famous name and a perfect 10,000 recruiting score, Manning’s promise to bring the Burnt Orange back to the top of the national stage.
This 10,000 rating at 247Sports Composite is the most prestigious recruitment mark. Only seven players, three of whom were quarterbacks, scored this perfect score. All three players – Vince Young, Quinn Ewers and now Manning – played or are playing at the University of Texas. When Manning finally signs the deal and Ewers stays, the “perfect” pair of teammates will be on Longhorns’ 2023 list.
Perhaps timing is most important to Manning. As a member of the 2023 class, he will almost certainly be a starting player in Texas when Longhorns enters the SEC, which is due to take place in the 2025 season. If all goes well, Manning has the opportunity to be a transformative talent following the example of Texas A&M Johnny Manziel. This is something that neither Alabama nor Georgia can offer.
True, neither Ewers nor Manning threw a collegiate pass. And four of the five previous perfect recruits never won the national championship: Robert Nkemdiche, Jadeveon Clowney, Rashan Gary and Ernie Sims. None of them were, of course, a quarterback, and Young left Austin, Texas, as one of the most legendary signal callers in history.
Because Manning is behind his famous name and historical rating, these expectations have been directed at him from the beginning.
Texas is facing a critical recruiting time
Once Manning is on board, expect Texas recruiting to pick up, especially in the attack. Longhorn prefers five-star wide receiver Johntay Cook II and four-star runner Cedric Baxter Jr. Manning’s high school partner Will Randle is already on board as a three-star strict recruiter.
Expect more high-level players to commit as the process reaches the early signing period in December and the national signing day in February. The opportunity to play with Manning should be an incomparable draw. Anything missing from the top five recruiting classes would be a huge disappointment for Texas.
When the former number 1 recruited Ewers was released from Texas on October 28, 2020 and later signed with Ohio, it marked the end of Tom Herman’s era in Austin. (Ewers was taken to Texas in December 2021.)
Barely 18 months later, Sarkisian has succeeded, where Herman failed. It can be just as difficult for Sarkisian to keep Manning on board, especially if ‘Horns doesn’t live up to expectations in 2022. However, when Manning arrives on campus, he will be a changeable name for Sarkisian and the program in the long run.
List management is critical
Manning should register before the 2023 season, probably in the spring. If the Texas quarterback’s room goes according to plan, Longhorns may have up to five scholarship callers on the seasonal list.
The Hudson Card is the only player on the list with start experience. However, former No. 1 recruiter Ewers, who moved from Ohio in December 2021, is the favorite to win the starting position in 2022 ahead of Cardi, four-star Painter Murphy, and subclass Charles Wright. By the time the 2023 season arrives, Ewers is likely to be in full season.
Manning is a special talent and should compete for a start-up job. However, Ewers has a unique talent after earning a No. 1 ranking and a rating of 0.9999. Ewers has a great opportunity will stay in work moving to 2023 over the younger Manning. However, Ewers would be eligible for the NFL after one season overlap, which will allow Manning to take over in 2024.
The tricky part is this: what if Manning knocks out Ewers when he starts working? Ewers is likely to be stuck in Texas as a backup or live for a year and could postpone moving to the NFL because he has already taken advantage of his one-year transition exemption. The only other option would be for him to immediately give up playing elsewhere, and although players have been more successful in turning to them recently, this is hardly certain.
If Ewers wins the quarterback as expected in 2022, it will probably mean that Card will enter the transfer portal at some point. Murphy and Wright could also consider leaving if Manning is next in line. The only downside to having a hyperandeka player room is that in a virtual free market, enough callers are caught on the list. But with talents like Manning and Ewers, all coaches would deal with these problems.
Where will the competitors go from here?
Both recent championship winners Georgia and Alabama put plenty of eggs in the Manning basket. Bama resigned from Manning’s position early and rose to 56th place in QB Eli Holstein’s overall position to lead his recruitment class. The Crimson Tide has also signed five-star QB Ty Simpson and top 100 QB Jalen Milroes in the last two classes. Depth of position is not an issue.
At the same time, the Bulldogs have 12 offers for quarter players, nine of which, according to 247Sports, to alert callers who are already committed elsewhere. Georgia could prefer new options, such as the local top 100 product Dylan Lonergan, or rely on the depth it has built over the last three classes.
Ole Miss filed a double inheritance in perhaps the same public case as everyone else. Coach Lane Kiffin wore an Eli’s Giants shirt while giving up his shirt, and the rebels painted the day in the final zones of “Manning.” Of course, Arch was in the village for this game. However, Ole Miss has decided to take on three-star QB Marcel Reed, No. 431, at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville.
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