The next in the lineage of elite quarterback talents, and the No. 1 player in the 2023 class, is done with a summer of official visits. And with what is shaping up to be a two-team race, some are ready to call a leader. Here's what we know.
Sports Illustrated's director of football recruiting, John Garcia Jr. recently released an article, stating that the Texas Longhorns now lead for the services of the most-heralded quarterback in recent memory.
The Longhorns have long-held buzz alongside Georgia, especially when Alabama took the commitment of fellow Louisiana quarterback Eli Holstein, but it kicked up a notch coming out of the weekend. SI sources indicate there is growing confidence from Steve Sarkisian's coaching staff in their ability to ultimately land the top-ranked talent. One source hinted at the sport's biggest domino dropping relatively soon in the process.
That domino, according to the SI report from John Garcia Jr., was the commitment from Will Randle a 3-star tight end from Newman high school that just so happens to be Arch Manning's best friend and teammate.
So, as the national media seems to believe Arch Manning is headed to Texas, what do we know about the situation? And what are sources telling us about the situation here on Dawgs Daily?
Texas Doing Everything
Do you know why David Cutcliffe — long-time quarterback coach of the Manning family — has a really high-paying job in the SEC League office right now? It likely has absolutely nothing to do with Texas trying to hire him to be an off-field analyst.
They've now taken the teammate into the class, though according to Garcia Jr. "Jeff Banks and other assistant coaches have long recruited Randle independent of Manning" for whatever that is worth. They even got him on campus last fall for an unofficial visit during a home game — it just so happened to be the 32-24 loss to the rival Oklahoma State Cowboys in which the Longhorns were shoutout in the fourth quarter.
But they have Steve Sarkisian...
Believe it or not, Steve Sarkisian's offense is enticing enough that they've managed to bring this thing down to the wire in perhaps the biggest quarterback recruitment since the last Manning. AJ Milwee, the Longhorns quarterbacks coach has reportedly spent an extensive amount of time in New Orleans as well since being hired.
A (5-7) record has not kept them out of the mix, a terrible loss at home during a visit has not knocked the Longhorns here yet. That offense, to this particular quarterback's mind, is clearly enticing.
Georgia Hasn't Waivored
There's been a lot made out of Arch Manning being the only quarterback to have received an offer from Texas. Well, they also have the luxury of being the only school in this race that's had their entire staff turnover in the last 18 months. So, yes, Georgia offered quarterbacks in the 2023 class back in the spring of 2021 just like the rest of the country trying to figure out the quarterback landscape, just like Sarkisian did at Alabama during that time. But since July of 2021, sources have confirmed Georgia has been all-in on Arch Manning. They haven't moved off their one target, Arch.
There is no backup plan. There is no "other guy." It's Arch or nothing for Georgia as well. They've shown the same level of commitment that the other party has, and they haven't had any change in the last three years offensively apart from a wide receivers coach's departure and Matt Luke's retirement. Luke albeit was a massive piece in the puzzle for Manning, but sources have indicated that Luke has continued discussions with the Manning family, a relationship that has been forged dating back to Luke's years at his alma mater Ole Miss.
That continuity, that stability, and the proof of concept are what Georgia has preached from day one in this recruitment. The relationship with Todd Monken has been reinforced by Buster Faulkner's involvement in this recruitment as well. It's been a tight locked ship and approach from the jump, and it hasn't needed any "reaches." They didn't need to recruit the best friend and teammates, they didn't need to try and hire David Cutcliffe. They just opened the doors to what is a turn-key operation.
One team selling a fresh start and a fancy offense, one school selling a turn-key operation. One team selling the idea of "making something special here in a new place. Writing your own legacy." All those flash word terms that are used to describe Texas are also used to describe a program in the midst of a rebuild, though a promising one.
One team selling an environment built around stability, continuity, and proven success. Georgia has all of the factors going for them apart from one. Georgia can't, and likely won't, promise guaranteed playing time by year two. Kirby Smart makes no bones about the way in which he stacks his rosters. If you come to Georgia, you will compete to play, particularly at quarterback.
Texas sees Quinn Ewers or whoever is left in that room to be gone by 2024, Manning's second year in college. Or at least that's the picture that appears to be being painted.
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