The most sought-after quarterback recruit of a generation has made a decision.
Arch Manning has committed to the University of Texas. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning announced his commitment to the Longhorns on Thursday:
Arch Manning has intentionally stayed out of the spotlight as much as possible, but his talent has been on the football world's collective radar since he was in junior high. It helps to be in the Manning family, of course, which has essentially shut down access to the star quarterback in order to stave off the inevitable media frenzy while also protecting his recruitment process.
More importantly, Manning appears to be the real deal. His grandfather, the beloved former Saints quarterback Archie Manning, admitted in 2019 that Arch was ahead of his uncles Peyton and Eli as a freshman quarterback, increasing the attention for a player who was already bound to attract it. As the son of Cooper Manning -- the best athlete of Archie's sons, according to Archie -- Arch Manning isn't just a statuesque quarterback, but athletic enough to make the occasional play with his feet, too.
The combination of physical skills, passing pedigree and on-field production made Manning the top recruit in his 2023 class, regardless of position. The news made headlines across the sports media landscape on Thursday, and will undoubtedly send shockwaves through Austin.
In case you haven't heard, Texas is ready to once again proclaim it is back. The program's 2021 record (5-7) didn't back up this statement in Steve Sarkisian's first season at the helm, but Sarkisian and his staff are making enough news in recruiting for folks to again take the Longhorns seriously, at least on paper.
That paper also presents an interesting scenario for the Longhorns regarding their future under center. In-state product Quinn Ewers transferred from Ohio State to Texas after just one season in Columbus and is penciled in as the future of the program.
Manning's commitment might throw a wrench into that plan -- or set up the Longhorns for quite a run of quarterbacking success. Ewers can make the leap to the NFL after just two seasons at Texas if he so desires, which would place the Longhorns on a roadmap of one year with Ewers and Manning sharing the same quarterback room before the latter takes over.
That scenario can become more complicated by the many variables related to on-field performance. But for now, Texas will celebrate landing the commitment of the most coveted recruit in quite some time, and they'll hope it holds through signing day.