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Here's Why Ex-Oklahoma LB Teddy Lehman Wants Arch Manning to Choose Texas

"It would be the greatest thing to happen to the Big 12," the former Sooner said

The Texas Longhorns could be inching closer and closer toward adding young quarterback prodigy Arch Manning for the class of 2023, though there's still work to be done from coach Steve Sarkisian and staff. SEC powerhouses like Georgia, Alabama, and Ole Miss are still in the mix. 

The hype surrounding his final official visit to the Forty Acres over the weekend even stirred up some conversation from a former Oklahoma Sooner, as the rivalry talk took an interesting twist. 

During a Thursday appearance on 94.7 FM from Norman, OK, former Sooners linebacker Teddy Lehman called Manning's potential commitment to Texas "the greatest thing to happen to the Big 12," but it might not be for reasons you'd expect.

Lehman certainly isn't rooting for Texas' success in this situation, as he compared a Manning-Texas commitment to that of the 1999 arrival of former Longhorns quarterback Chris Simms. To this day, Simms is still one of the most hyped recruits to arrive in Austin.

“Chris Simms goes to Texas, everyone (saying), ‘Oh my god, this is going to be a disaster,'" Lehman said. "He was great except against OU, where he was god awful."

Lehman is not wrong in the slightest. For the exception of Simms' freshman year in 1999 when Major Applewhite led the Longhorns to a 38-28 win over Oklahoma, it was indeed a "disaster" for the quarterback against Texas' heated rival from then on out. 

In three more appearances against the Sooners, Simms went 0-3 and passed for just 417 total yards, no touchdowns, and an abysmal eight interceptions. He did rush for two touchdowns in his final game against Oklahoma in 2002. 

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Lehman picked off Simms twice in those three meetings, including a pick-six in Oklahoma's 2001 victory. He said he can see similar poor results for a highly touted recruit as Manning. 

“People still hate Chris Simms even though he never beat OU," Lehman said. "And it’s lasted 20 plus years since he played. It would be the exact same thing with Arch Manning. I don’t know what you would get him to throw like zero touchdowns and 10 interceptions, whatever Simms throw, but it would be the same thing. Fans would jump all over it. It would be the greatest thing to happen to the Big 12."

What would be Manning's likely first year under center as the starter in 2024 will likely come in Texas' final year in the Big 12. The "greatest thing to happen to the Big 12" could take shape in the SEC once the Longhorns and Sooners make the switch sometime in 2025.


You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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