Arch Manning has attended the Manning Passing Academy for years but as his recruitment heats up, the rising junior's presence at the 2021 event in Thibodeaux had a different aura surrounding the workouts.
There were the typical sights to see as grandfather Archie was driving around in a golf cart and Peyton and Eli were offering instruction to a number of high school prospects. But all eyes were on the third generation of the football family as he went through drills and prepares for his junior season at Newman High School.
Manning went on a number of visits during the recruiting open period, including Clemson, Texas and Georgia. His father Cooper was right by his side every step of the way as Arch's recruitment becomes the most closely followed in recent memory.
It's a process Arch has been preparing for from a young age and one that the Manning family has a ton of experience with, albeit not to this extent.
"I think it’s definitely an advantage at least to being exposed to it earlier or all of a sudden the lights go on and you’ve never had it before, but I always think it’s an adjustment," Cooper Manning said. "He’s not going to just jump in front of the camera. He doesn’t adore the attention. He just wants to play football and have fun with his friends and be a regular guy.”
Having those experiences on college campuses was an important process for Manning and his family but the next steps will be to get on campuses for some games. Those visits were really a first opportunity to not only get to see the campuses and gauge any academic interests but moreso than anything, get to interact with the coaching staffs one on one.
Cooper says Arch is all football all the time so getting to interact with those coaches and learn about the different schemes and offenses were all things he was soaking up on his visits. At the same time, he also recently went out to Denver and received some in depth instruction from uncle and recent NFL Hall of Fame nominee Peyton.
“Arch is really interested in football stuff. Anybody can go to multiple academic meetings and after 30 minutes kind of glaze over, but when he’s in there with the OC’s, the quarterback coaches and talking football, watching film, talking plays schemes, that’s what really his eyes get wide on that," Manning said.
"We spend a lot of time with Peyton. Recently went to Denver and got some real quality, I’d say Peyton 202, whatever class he’s in now, and just you know get up to curve. You can see the same thing with Peyton, when he’s teaching, he’s standing up, he’s getting animated. It’s what he loves and so I think that’s a good thing.”
The process over the next few months will be a little bit different as the recruiting period winds down and campuses open back up for more visits.
Manning plans to be on Ole Miss' campus the week after recruiting opens back up as a chance to get to know Lane Kiffin and that staff a little bit better. But starting on Aug. 1, Cooper says its back to two a days at Newman as the Greenies look to contend for a state title win.
“We want to do it as a family. It was fun. Shoot, it’s exhausting being recruited. There is no secret as to why those programs are so good, because the coaches are great, the kids are great, you meet all the players," Manning said. "The facilities are beautiful, there’s nothing wrong with any of them. So Arch is in a really lucky spot. I think he’s looking forward to getting back on campus and going to see some games. I think that’ll be fun to see crowds and cheerleaders and bands and touchdowns. I think that gives you another good little couple data points.”