The five-star quarterback tweeted Thursday that he was verbally committing to the Longhorns. Manning is the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning and the highest-rated recruit in the high school class of 2023 according to Rivals.
Manning’s commitment to Texas is a big win for the Longhorns and coach Steve Sarkisian. Texas was competing with Alabama and Georgia, the teams that played for the national title in January, to secure Manning’s services. And now Manning will be the quarterback Texas fans are hoping he can lead the team back to national title contention.
Manning, the son of Manning’s older brother Cooper, has been a highly touted QB recruit since stepping onto the field for Isidore Newman in New Orleans. His hiring over the past year has been one of the most high-profile in years, as major shows across the country competed for his services.
Manning vs. Quinn Ewers?
Manning’s likely arrival — verbal commitments are non-binding and unofficial until a player signs a letter of intent — is the second big QB acquisition for Texas in as many years. The school hired Texan native Quinn Ewers as a transfer in December after Ewers spent a season at Ohio State after skipping his senior year of high school football.
Ewers was the top QB recruit in the class of 2021 and considered the favorite to be the Longhorns’ starting quarterback in 2022 ahead of Hudson Card. With Ewers entering his second season, he and Manning are on track to be the subjects of an incredibly high-profile quarterback competition before the 2023 season.
We have a clue that Alabama could be out of the Manning draw. in early spring when four stars QB Eli Holstein committed to the Crimson Tide. Holstein is the No. 5 pro-style QB in the class of 2023 and will likely make it to Tuscaloosa when Bryce Young turns pro. The reigning Heisman winner is entering his third season of college football in 2022 and is eligible to declare for the NFL draft after the season.
Georgia, meanwhile, has Stetson Bennett IV returning as its starting quarterback for another season and five-star recruit Brock Vandagriff waiting in the wings. Vandagriff was the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2021.
Texas has struggled since 2009
Manning is ready to join a Texas program that longs for the glory days of the Mack Brown era. The Longhorns have won 10 games in a season once since going 13-1 and losing to Alabama in the BCS title game at the end of the 2009 season. Sarkisian is the team’s third head coach since the school parted ways with Brown after the 2013 season and the Longhorns posted a 5-7 record in 2021.
A big reason for Texas’ struggles has been inconsistent quarterback play. Four-year starter Sam Ehlinger has been the best quarterback since Colt McCoy and it’s no coincidence that Texas’ best season since that BCS appearance came in 2018. The Longhorns went 10-4 that season when Ehlinger completed 65% of his passes and had 41 total touchdowns.
Card and Casey Thompson split time as Texas quarterbacks in 2021 when the Longhorns lost to Kansas amid a six-game losing streak that knocked them out of bowl contention. Texas led Oklahoma 41-23 with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter before losing that game 55-48 on a late Kennedy Brooks touchdown. That loss sent the Longhorns into a tailspin that they only emerged from with a win over Kansas State the final week of the season.
Sarkisian likely sold Manning at Texas because of his previous work with top college quarterbacks. Sarkisian was an assistant at USC when the Trojans trampled college football under Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, and the former Washington and USC head coach was Alabama’s offensive coordinator before heading to Austin. At Alabama, Sarkisian worked with Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones after spending two years as offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
Manning prepares to carry on the SEC family tradition
Arch Manning’s commitment to Texas means he will be the fourth Manning to play college football in the SEC when Texas joins the conference. Grandpa Archie played for Ole Miss before joining the New Orleans Saints and Eli also played for the Rebels. Peyton went to Tennessee before moving on to his career in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.