Manning made headlines Thursday when he announced his commitment to Texas. The decision came after years-long recruitment in which Manning visited multiple top-tier programs, including Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, LSU, Clemson and Ole Miss.
Texas is looking to return back its glory days under second-year coach Steve Sarkisian. As for Peyton and Eli Manning, their influence didn't come in the form of where their nephew should play. Instead, they'll mentor him on what he can expect when playing at the next level.
"We're his uncles," Peyton Manning said at the Manning Passing Academy. "We'll try to be there as a resource. Obviously, our names get brought up a lot because we're his uncles, but we're really, really proud of him and the way he's handled the whole thing."
The son of Cooper Manning, Arch grew up in a house filled with quarterback production. Archie Manning — the family's patriarch — set the tone at Ole Miss before becoming the franchise quarterback for the New Orleans Saints in the 1970s. Peyton would go on to set records at Tennessee in the late 1990s. Eli would do the same in Oxford in the early 2000s.
The talent set in motion by the Manning elders transferred over to Arch early. He was named the starting quarterback at Isidore Newman during his freshman year. Three years later, he's thrown for 6,307 yards and 81 touchdowns while tallying 19 more scores with his legs.
A selling point with the Manning family has always been their familiarity with a team's offense.
Peyton had multiple offers across the country in 1994, but was drawn to the methodic coaching style of then-Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe. Eli thought the same when Cutcliffe was named head coach at Ole Miss and followed in Archie's footsteps.
Sarkisian, a former quarterback at BYU and guru of the position in terms of recruiting, sold Arch on the direction in which Texas is headed. The two connected early on in the recruiting process and continued to discuss the long-term plan over the year.
Texas also elected not to offer another quarterback while programs such as Alabama and Clemson received commitments from prospects such as Eli Holstein and Christopher Vizzina
Arch Manning took one final visit to Texas earlier in June. The pitch was enough to convince the 2023 No. 1 quarterback recruit to commit just days later. He'll join Newman teammate and tight end prospect Will Randle, who committed to the program earlier this month.
"I talked to him about when I made my decision," Peyton Manning said. "As I got back from my last visit, I basically announced where I was going two days later because I knew that's where I was going. When you know, you know. There's no point of dragging it out and creating some drama."
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Arch's pledge might be the biggest news for the Longhorns since Vince Young's commitment in 2002. The Longhorns are in need of finding their "face of the program'' at quarterback following another lackluster 5-7 season.
Sarkisian also put an emphasis on finding his quarterback of the present, convincing Ohio State and former Texas commit Quinn Ewers to join the squad.
Ewers, SI99's initial No. 2 QB prospect of the 2022 cycle behind Cade Klubnik (Clemson), is expected by most to win the job in 2022. He also will become draft-eligible following the 2023 campaign.
The addition of Arch should also help Texas return to the top in terms of recruiting.
Last season. the Longhorns added three premier players on the offensive line, including Summer Creek's Kelvin Banks and Arlington Bowie's Devon Campbell. Since Manning's commitment, receivers such as DeSoto's Johntay Cook II and other top recruits have had their interest sway in the Longhorns' direction.
Much can change between now and the Early Signing Period in November. Other schools will continue to reach out to the Manning family with the hope of convincing Arch to head to their program instead of Texas. Newman coach Nelson Stewart, however believes Arch is "locked in" to working with Sarkisian and joining the Longhorns.
Peyton is pleased with the decision from his nephew. So is Grandpa Archie.
"We're blessed," Archie Manning said. "Arch and his brother and sister ... Cooper and Ellen have done a great job with them. They're fun grandchildren to have."
You can follow Cole Thompson on Twitter @MrColeThompson
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