THIBODAUX, La. -- The Manning Passing Academy returned with plenty buzz this weekend. In addition to NFL legends Archie, Peyton and Eli, droves of college quarterbacks and high school arms got fresh work in under the expert direction.
But it was one of the youngest on hand to dominate the conversation Friday, class of 2023 quarterback Arch Manning.
The coveted New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman leader had a busy June on the visit trail, taking in Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Texas and others. At least one more program, Ole Miss, is set to host him in late July when the dead period elapses.
LSU Country's Glen West connected with Cooper Manning, Arch's father, for more on this unique recruitment and when it may end.
Where does your son fall in that the way he views things because you’ve seen two different approaches?
“Well first of all I think it just happens so much earlier now. Arch is going to be a junior, I think those guys were starting to get some letters, I think that’s where we are. And so everything has been accelerated and the amount of footage and film and articles, it’s just way different and much more emphasis put on recruiting sites. So it’s a total different game but we’re trying to approach it the same way my Dad taught the boys to is just to enjoy it and make friends, get close to coaches, ask questions and every coach we’ve talking to and Arch has talked to just says ‘At the end of the day you’re going to one day go, ‘This is the right place for me.' And that’s going to be it. Even the places you don’t go you still want to be friends forever and that’s kind of the goal to just enjoy the process and it’ll all workout.”
Getting to spend a few days learning from his two uncles and spending time with college quarterbacks, how much does he value this experience?
“He also really enjoys meeting these college guys, that’s a really neat thing to sit there with Drew Pyne at Notre Dame, talking to Sam (Howell) at UNC saying, ‘What’s it like in Chapel Hill?’ I think that’s a real neat thing for him to be able to watch those guys throw up close and just pick their brain.”
On learning how to handle all of this being used to Manning name and used to exposure.
“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. 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.”
Is it tough staying neutral about Ole Miss during this process?
“You become a parent real quickly and I loved Ole Miss, I went there and had a blast, it was a great place for me, but at the same time, you want your children to be happy and come home from school happy, so wherever it is or whatever they want to play, whatever they want to do, you want the best for them. So I’m just trying to be a good parent, a good wing man during this ride.”
What do the next couple months look like for him from a recruiting perspective? Focused on Newman? Visits?
“We don’t have anything concrete. The dead period ends next week, he’s going to go to Ole Miss. We’re going to be up in Mississippi and he’s going to pop up over there. He hadn’t gotten to know Lane (Kiffin) or Jeff Lebby and just go there as a recruit. It’s one thing to go there as a teenager running around and just being a guy, but to go ahead and see and kind of hear the pitch. So that’s that and then August 1 here comes two-a-days and full practice and games. We don’t have a schedule set up as far as where we’ll go because it’s hard. You play Friday nights, you got Saturday morning practice, you don’t want to leave your team out to dry. He’s a captain this year. He wants to be there, you know. It’s a delicate balance between trying to stick to the task at hand and also educate yourself a little bit on what else is out there.”
Talk about your approach as far as being a football father like Arch.
“I’m really fortunate to have a template. Not only have I had to handle this, but I’ve had to handle a lot of things and I’m very fortunate to have great parents and when different situations happen I can lean back, ‘How would my Dad handle this? How would my Mom handle this?’ I’d probably screw it up, but at least I’ll have them as a reference, it’s definitely a luxury.”
I heard you mention Arch is level headed and nothing rattles him. What does he want to know about these schools when there?
“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. 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.”