5-star QB recruit Arch Manning commits to Texas

5-star QB recruit Arch Manning is heading to Texas. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images)

Arch Manning is headed to Texas.

The five-star quarterback tweeted Thursday that he was verbally engaging with the Longhorns. Manning is the grandson 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 for coach Steve Sarkisian. Texas was competing with the likes of 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 that Texas fans are hoping will bring the team back into the contention for the national title.

Manning, son of older brother Manning Cooper, has been a much touted QB rookie ever since he took the field for Isidore Newman in New Orleans. Recruiting him over the past year has been one of the most important in recent years as major programs across the country were all competing 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 major QB for Texas in as many years. The school got Quinn Ewers, a native of Texas, as a transfer in December after Ewers spent a season in Ohio State after missing his senior high school football season.

Ewers was the best QB rookie in the class of 2021 and considered the favorite to be the starting quarterback of the Longhorns in 2022 ahead of the Hudson Card. With Ewers entering his second season, he and Manning are well on their way to being the subjects of an incredibly high-profile quarterback competition ahead of the 2023 season.

We got a hint that Alabama may be out of Manning’s sweepstakes in early spring when four-star QB Eli Holstein joined the Crimson Tide. Holstein is the pro-style 5QB in the class of 2023 and will likely arrive in Tuscaloosa when Bryce Young turns pro. The reigning Heisman winner is entering his third college football season in 2022 and is eligible to bid for the post-season NFL draft.

Georgia, meanwhile, has Stetson Bennett IV returning as starting quarterback for another season and five-star rookie Brock Vandagriff waiting in the wings. Vandagriff was the second pro-style QB in the class of 2021.

Texas has been struggling since 2009

Manning will join a Texas program craving the glory days of the Mack Brown era. The Longhorns have won 10 games in a season once since going 13-1 and lost to Alabama in the BCS title game at the end of the 2009 season. Sarkisian is the team’s third coach since school. separated from Brown after the 2013 season and the Longhorns set a record of 5-7 in 2021.

A big reason for the Texas fights was the quarterback’s inconsistent play. Sam Ehlinger, starter for four years, was the best QB since Colt McCoy and it’s no coincidence that Texas’s best season since that BCS appearance came in 2018. The Longhorns went 10-4 that season when Ehlinger he completed 65% of his passes and had 41 total touchdowns.

Card and Casey Thompson split at the Texas quarterback in 2021 when the Longhorns lost to Kansas in the midst of a six-game losing streak that took them out of the bowling contest. Texas led 41-23 in Oklahoma with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter before losing that game 55-48 on a late touchdown managed by Kennedy Brooks. That defeat sent the Longhorns into a downward spiral which only erupted with a win over Kansas State in the last week of the season.

Sarkisian probably sold Manning to Texas thanks to his previous job with top college quarterbacks. Sarkisian was an assistant at USC when Trojans trampled college football with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, and the former Washington and USC head coach was Alabama’s offensive coordinator before heading to Austin. In Alabama, Sarkisian worked with Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones after spending two years as the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator.

Manning has decided to continue the family’s SEC 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 Ole Miss before joining the New Orleans Saints and Eli also played for the Rebels. Peyton went to Tennessee before continuing his career in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos.

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