Trevor Lawrence, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning. All three were the "can't-miss" generational under center coming out of high school. Two went on to have stellar NFL careers while Lawrence is just beginning his journey.
Is Arch Manning the next gem?
Arch Manning, the No. 1 QB prospect for the 2023 class, might be the most sought-after recruit of the decade. Everyone wants him, and for good reason. An NFL grandfather, two Super Bowl-winning uncles and a life growing up in the Manning Passing Academy?
What's not to like?
Cooper Manning, Arch's father, understands what it means to carry the Manning name. Prior to a career-ending spinal condition, he too was a stout prospect, though at the wide receiver position.
The name as a whole has given Arch the opportunity to grow. It's also added a bit of pressure compared to the other recruits in the class.
“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 told SI All-American on Friday. "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.”
Arch Manning grew up breathing football. From Sunday's watching his uncle Peyton tear up AFC opponents or days in New York seeing Eli lead the Giants, this was his life.
The patriarch, Archie, never pressured the boys into being superstars at the sport. He encouraged them to improve each day and find a goal to complete before moving onto the next challenge.
Cooper Manning says that most parents going through the recruiting trail don't have the background to understand the process, so remembering the lessons under Archie is beneficial for his own son.
“I’m really fortunate to have a template," Cooper Manning said. "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.”
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Arch Manning is already visiting programs — one of which was Texas. Under the direction of new head coach Steve Sarkisian, the Longhorns are looking to conted in the Big 12 for years to come.
That's easier said than done, but the recruiting class of 2022 is promising. Currently. Texas ranks No. 9. on SI All-American's ranking, highlighted by five-tool QB Maalik Murphy.
Manning also visited both SMU and Clemson earlier this summer. Before the August 1 dead period, Cooper Manning told SI All-American that his son will also be headed to Ole Miss.
Three of the four Mannings called Oxford home for not just football, but also for their education. Archie Manning was Ole Miss' quarterback from 1968-70 and Eli Manning was Ole Miss' quarterback from 2000-03.
“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," Cooper Manning said of his son visiting his alma mater. "So I’m just trying to be a good parent, a good wingman during this ride.”
Cooper Manning wants programs to know that his son loves talking ball. All the ins and outs that go with the offense and certain concepts that best suit his skills. It plays a role in the decision-making of where he will call home.
In the end, that could be the deciding factor on Texas landing the generational quarterback, or watching another program sweep him away before the start of the 2023 season.
“Arch is really interested in football stuff," Cooper Manning said. "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."
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