As the recruitment of Arch Manning picks up steam again, one of his teammates has made his decision as tight end Will Randle committed to Texas for 2023.
Texas beat out LSU, Virginia, SMU, and others for the Isidore Newman (New Orleans) 3-star player.
Randle is the second tight end in the 2023 college football recruiting class to give his verbal pledge to Texas, following Spencer Shannon from Mater Dei in California.
Analysts project Randle will move to the "H" spot for the Longhorns in a receiving position out of the backfield or from the slot.
Randle, who stands at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, comes in as the No. 670 player in the nation, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings.
He ranks as the No. 34 tight end nationally, and the No. 25 player from Louisiana.
Effect on the Arch Manning race
With news of any Isidore player making a commitment, the attention naturally moves to that school's quarterback, and the No. 1 player in the 2023 cycle.
Randle committing to Texas could end up having some influence on the decision Manning finally makes.
The two have shared their recruiting process in the last few months and Manning was with Randle on the latter's most recent visit to Texas.
Second-year coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff have to consider the addition of Randle as a positive development in their pursuit of Manning, who has narrowed his decision to an unofficial two-school race between Texas and Georgia.
On3 Sports Recruiting Prediction Machine favors the Longhorns by a 50 percent margin, with Georgia placing a close second at 44 percent.
What is the better fit?
Texas is a program in transition. A long-time college football power, it last won the national championship in the famous 2006 Rose Bowl, but has struggled to find its identity since, winning 10 games just once in the last decade and making only four appearances in the AP Top 25 rankings.
Second-year coach Steve Sarkisian, coming off a 5-7 debut season, is tasked with reviving the program's fortunes, and to that end just signed 5-star transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers.
Some analysts believe Manning would want to avoid a potential QB competition with Ewers and instead commit to a school where he would have a better chance of starting sooner.
Georgia has fared better in recent years despite not fielding a program-defining, dynamic player at the quarterback position.
Kirby Smart has six AP Top 10 finishes in the last six years, with two College Football Playoff appearances, and is the reigning national champion.
Georgia also has elite prospects at the quarterback position looking to get starting reps, including Gunner Stockton, Brock Vandagriff, and Carson Beck.
But most analysts favor Manning to win the starting job in a theoretical competition with those players.
Arch Manning stats
As a junior at Isidore Newman in New Orleans, Manning threw for 1,947 yards and 26 touchdowns to four interceptions with another seven rushing scores.
In his high school career, he’s thrown for 6,307 yards as a starter in three seasons with 81 touchdowns passing and 19 rushing.
He averages almost 13 yards per pass, over 212 passing yards per game, and has 18 career interceptions.
Manning is the consensus No. 1 quarterback and overall player in the 2023 college football recruiting class, according to all services.
Texas football 2023 commitments
+ 3-star TE Will Randle
+ 4-star WR Ryan Niblett
+ 4-star S Jamel Johnson
+ 4-star DL Dylan Spencer
+ 4-star LB S'Maje Burrell
+ 4-star RB Tre Wisner
+ 3-star TE Spencer Shannon