Texas sets sights on quarterback recruit, Arch Manning

Riley Glenn, Sports Reporter

A plethora of high-level high school prospects visited Austin for Texas’ game against Oklahoma State on Oct. 16, with the headliner being five-star quarterback Arch Manning.

Manning, who plays for Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, has offers from Texas, Alabama, Clemson, Mississippi and Georgia among others. The Manning family name holds a lot of weight in the football community, and it looks like Arch will follow in the footsteps of his relatives. A commitment from Manning would be Steve Sarkisian’s biggest recruit yet as head coach of the Longhorns. 

What college coaches look for in a quarterback, especially out of high school, are tools that translate to higher levels of football. Size, athleticism and arm strength, while also having the work ethic and intelligence to improve in the mental side of the game, are key aspects that coaches look for in players. Possessing all these traits is an incredibly hard thing to find in a teenager, but many scouts in recruiting circles feel that Manning checks a majority of those boxes. 

Manning has started for Isidore Newman since his freshman year, leading his team to a 18–3 record over his first two seasons. Over those 21 starts, Manning has thrown for 4,381 passing yards and 53 touchdowns. His 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame is ideal for a quarterback. He has shown a natural feel for the position, especially in the pocket where he instinctively navigates pressure tremendously well.

Manning consistently demonstrates the ability to escape from pressure and pick up yards with his legs. He has also displayed accuracy at each level of the field while having the arm strength to hit receivers in stride. However, what separates Manning from other high school quarterback recruits is his intelligence and competitiveness. 

Manning was asked to handle a lot as a freshman starter playing against high-level competition. He stepped in and was able to handle the full playbook due to his high football IQ. He not only wins with his physical gifts, but with his mind as well.

Up to this point, he has handled the high expectations placed upon him by his family lineage. Being a member of the Manning family comes with a lot of pressure, attention and media scrutiny. His poise at a young age is something every coach looks for in a quarterback. 

A commitment from Manning would be massive for Steve Sarkisian and the Texas program. Sarkisian inherited junior Casey Thompson and redshirt freshman Hudson Card as his quarterbacks. Both are incredibly talented, but they might not be Sarkisian’s preferred choices for who he wants to run his offense. Manning could be Sarkisian’s guy. 

Getting a high-level recruit like Manning would also attract other high-level recruits and give the program lots of media attention. With the Longhorns’ looming transition to the SEC coming within the next couple of years, it is vital that they can recruit with the likes of Alabama, Georgia and LSU. 

Former head coach Tom Herman let a five-star, generational talent in quarterback Quinn Ewers slip through his fingers last year. Under Sarkisian, Texas has a chance to bring in someone who just might be better.