The most notable name in recruiting is Arch Manning. He's not only one of the most recognizeable high school athletes in the country, but he has the skills and the traits to back up his strong play.
His name, Manning, is certainly one of the most beloved families in all of sports. He attends the same high school as his father Cooper and uncles, Peyton and Eli, and is putting up historic numbers. Just last season as a sophomore he led Newman to a state semi final appearance, eventually losing to Lafayette Christian. In a COVID season and an offense that was very run heavy, Manning completed nearly 72% of his passes for 1,643 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Coach Nelson Stewart has known the Manning family for years and started coaching Arch in the sixth grade, when he started playing football. There are many positives to take away from Manning's game but the one element that Stewart comes back to is his pocket presence.
"I've had him since Pre-K and he started playing football in sixth grade so I feel like I've coached him forever. I think with him, it's hard to say just one thing but right now his pocket awareness," Stewart said. "He can take hits, he doesn't get rattled, he'll hang in there and he can extend plays and make throws that most other quarterbacks can't. That rare ability that a play is never over. If he gets flushed outside, he can square his body up, he's a tremendous athlete."
The Newman offense is expanding this offseason, catering more to Manning's skill sets. Not that it didn't a year ago but there was more of an emphasis on the running game because of the lack of time to get truly creative in the passing game.
Stewart and his staff are hard at work scheming up more innovative schemes to really unleash Manning's game. The abilities he already possesses are truly remarkable according to Stewart, so much so that the primary focus for Manning this offseason is continuing to learn how to manipulate different defensive looks.
"He can throw the intermediate stuff well, the deep stuff well, his footwork is really good. He's comfortable under center and shotgun and he takes pride in his play fakes, really likes to study defenses," Stewart said. "He's used his zoom calls whether it's me or with coaches, he's always trying to get better learning schematics and the game itself. "
At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Manning is an all around athlete as he's a high jumper and guard on the basketball team at Newman. Stewart has seen up close and personal how beloved Manning is by his teammates. His notoriety is already high as his family has kept him out of the spotlight purposely so that he can spend his high school days just being a kid.
Spending all of that time has kept him grounded according to Stewart, who is really looking forward to seeing just how much Manning grows over the next year, on the field and off.
"He's stayed grounded but the sky's the limit. He still hasn't really gotten to that next level, he's constantly growing," Stewart said. "He's a rarity and the thing about Arch is he really understands the totality with being a great quarterback. He's always trying to attack things to get better at and he's just a blessing to coach."