The most talked-about quarterback recruiting domino has fallen. Arch Manning picked Texas over Georgia and Alabama on Thursday, wrapping up one of the most talked-about recruitments of all time.
The NFL-legacy quarterback's timing lines up with several other elite arms looking to wind down the evaluation process with their own list of final schools, with Jaden Rashada set to come off the board sometime Sunday. Emerging prospects Brock Glenn and Avery Johnson want to make a decision in the coming days while Dylan Lonergan has a July 5 commitment scheduled.
Rashada originally marked June 18 as a verbal commitment date, where SI sources pinned Florida and Texas A&M as the most likely winners of a longstanding battle around the Pittsburg (Cailf.) High School star. Leading up to the day, however, he pushed the decision back to June 26 and had time to take what will be known as the swing visit in his recruitment—an official visit to Miami—during the week. Coming out of the trip, it appears the battle has shifted from all SEC to a Sunshine State showdown between the new coaching staffs in Gainesville and Coral Gables.
A pair of Florida visits in a two-week span to kick off June certainly gave Rashada and his family much to consider, especially paired with a seemingly smooth path to the starting job based on incumbent Anthony Richardson's growing NFL draft buzz this offseason. Rashada sat down with the third-year Gator QB while in town to get the real questions answered on the culture and new look of Florida under Billy Napier.
The Miami trip began as an intimate, all eyes on Rashada kind of trip, but local Hurricane commits and targets alike made the quick swing down to campus while the 6-foot-4 talent was back in town. SI sources in the region grew in confidence, seemingly by the hour, regarding Miami's chances to earn Rashada's Sunday commitment since. Could the trip have pushed Mario Cristobal's program to the top or was Florida's lead a bit too much to catch up on ahead of the pick? Almost 48 hours out, the ACC program looks to be in the best shape.
Glenn has a handful of programs still under consideration going into the weekend, but sources like longtime favorite Auburn and Ohio State as the primary duo still in the hunt. The Memphis (Tenn.) Lausanne quarterback wants to make the call before traveling to Los Angeles to compete at the Elite 11 Finals, so the decision could come at any time between Friday and Tuesday evening's event start. The Tigers are all in on the emerging talent, who has multiple family ties to the program, while the Buckeyes have cast a wider net in their own search for a 2023 QB.
Baylor commitment Austin Novosad is the other relatively new target for Ryan Day and OSU, and he's been busy on the trail himself. The Dripping Springs (Texas) High School standout was at Ohio State and Baylor the last two weekends and has plans to see Texas A&M this weekend before making his own trek to the Elite 11 Finals. Unlike the others, though, there is no clear timeline for Novosad to make a final call on where he wants to suit up next year. He's been on the BU commitment list since December, so a flip would provide a late shake-up to many program's recruiting board.
Johnson has also been busy on the trail in June, checking out Washington, Kansas State and Oregon for official visits in a two-week span. Like Glenn, he wants to be off the board before the QB world descends on L.A. early next week, so the Maize (Kans.) High School star is on commitment watch by the day. From the outset, the in-state Wildcats have been viewed as the program to beat in the race, and if he sticks with the commitment plan for the coming days it would be hard to list another contender as the favorite. From geographical familiarity to scheme fit and how honest Chris Klieman's staff has been with Johnson, KSU could have their biggest recruiting win in some time in the fold very soon.
Lonergan's recruitment has long been among the most interesting among QBs because of his overall athletic profile, fluctuating contenders and two-sport status. The Peach State prospect is an elite baseball prospect and will look to pitch at the next level, making his July 5 pick between Alabama, South Carolina and Stanford all the more fascinating. Lonergan has frequented each and Stanford gets the final official visit this weekend. However, the race has been viewed more favorably between the SEC pair of late. South Carolina has become the expected pick since the spring months, but Alabama has quietly been steady on Lonergan in their search to pair commitment Eli Holstein with another top talent. Missing on Manning Thursday could kick-start the final Crimson Tide push to make the decision much more intriguing coming out of Independence Day.
Should each of those passers make their public picks on schedule, the Elite 11 Finals will come and go with just one uncommitted talent among the 20 prospects competing for the MVP crown. Dante Moore already looked like he will be the elite quarterback taking his recruitment the deepest into the year, but now he has lined up a last-minute unofficial visit to Oregon this weekend, sources confirmed to SI late Thursday night. It means the Ducks will have had the Detroit (Mich.) King star on campus twice in the last 60 days or so, including for an official visit. Moore was at Texas A&M last weekend and had seen Notre Dame, Michigan, LSU and others earlier in the spring.
The Irish were the longtime favorites for Moore, but much has changed in the new year with Miami, Michigan and A&M appearing to make moves in the race. While there is not an expectation of a June commitment for the Midwest's top QB talent just yet, there is a sense late this week that the visit to Eugene could vault the Ducks from contender to potential front-runner as the program looks for its class-headliner and top QB commitment. The program has been in the mix for many elite passers to date, including Nico Iamaleava (now a Tennessee pledge), Rashada and Johnson. The need to win Moore's recruitment is paramount under first-year coach Dan Lanning.
A verbal commitment isn't always the end of the recruiting process for top passers, though, as schools are looking to flip Novosad as well as Florida State commitment Chris Parson, Purdue pledge Rickie Collins and others. Most QBs do stick to their original pick and look to help build a strong recruiting class, so plenty remains to be decided with the summer commitment season here.
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