When Arch Manning, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2023 class, committed to the University of Texas that week, it got members of The 33rd Team talking…
As a member of football royalty entering college in the Name, Image and Likeness era, the hype surrounding the young Manning has exceeded that of any high schooler in history.
Is he truly deserving of this hype? Or has his status as the nephew of Peyton and Eli coupled with the rise of social media started a runaway hype train he won’t be able to catch?
To find answers to these questions, we asked our sources working in college football recruiting offices across the country for their thoughts on why Manning may or may not be truly deserving of his No. 1 overall recruit ranking:
ACC Assistant Director:
I think Arch Manning would still be one of the top QBs in the country even if he did have a different last name.
There’s about 6-7 top guys this year and he’s in the top 3. Accuracy, poise, play making ability — he’s got all that. Arm is above average but he gets the ball where it’s supposed to go. The only question with him is the competition level is not good in the league he plays but he’s dominates like he’s supposed to every game.
In regards to him be no doubt the No. 1 guy in the country and at QB, I think you could argue Malachi Nelson and Nico Iamaleava are deserving as well. Dante Moore is right there too. Arch is probably the most physically ready just by looking at them, along with Dante Moore, so I can see why they’d give him the nod. I think keeping him at No. 1 serves the recruiting sites well for clicks as well.
Group of 5 Director of Player Personnel:
His mental starting point and his baseline of football knowledge and awareness is probably going to be unrivaled in the history of an incoming freshman quarterback.
The exposure that Arch Manning has, and the access that he has to ask a question to his uncles about anything you could think of is a unique advantage.
Now, the competition level that he played against was terrible. He played in the worst division of Louisiana high school football and won a lot of games, but his team did not win a championship or anything like that. Things looked easy for him against that level of competition.
I don’t think that he has the elite physical profile that everyone might assume he would, but he has well above the line arm talent. He can make all the throws and throws with anticipation and timing. He’s really good in the intermediate areas. Anticipation and accuracy are more important than arm strength and he has those in spades.
It’s not just because his last name is Manning that he’s the No. 1 recruit — it’s what comes with his last name being Manning. Because like I said, with the mental starting point that he has, he should be so far ahead from a conceptual and football IQ standpoint.
So, if his last name wasn’t Manning, he probably would not be the No. 1 overall recruit, although there’s no way to know that for sure. But his last name is Manning, and there’s a lot of advantages to that. And I do think he will take advantage of those.
He has good awareness and pocket presence — he can move around the pocket and won’t be a statue back there.
Above average arm strength, not elite – which is fine! Just not elite.
Throws with good touch. I think he’s going to be an accurate passer based on mechanics and ball placement. His WRs in High School were not great to put it mildly.
That will be his biggest knock — the competition level is rough. Louisiana produces a ton of talent, but when you get to the smallest private league in Louisiana it gets bad really quickly.
I really feel that for college quarterbacks it boils down to their mental, attitude, approach, how they carry themselves, leadership qualities, etc. He shows, in my opinion, what you need on film — awareness, a good enough arm, accuracy and some touch. Everything else is about the off field. How can they learn the playbook? How can they lead our team? That kind of stuff.
If his name was Arch Smith, he’s still a Top 250 player.
From what I’ve heard, he’s more quiet and reserved. Not outgoing like Peyton, more like Eli in that regard. The pressure will be on him like no one else. History will show that QBs with sort of pressure on them haven’t panned like they should’ve — will he be the next?
AAC Recruiting Analyst:
When looking at his career accomplishments, level of competition, and overall team success relevant to the other top QBs in the class, it is difficult to accept that Arch Manning would be the consensus No. 1 QB without the Manning name and family lineage.
Not to take away from what he does incredibly well, reads the defense quickly, makes anticipatory throws with above average arm strength and accuracy, not to mention prototypical measurables nearly mirroring that of Andrew Luck. It seems to me that evaluators have been jaded by the name on the back of the jersey.
ACC Recruiting Analyst:
I like Arch Manning more than some of the others you’ve been speaking with. I think he’s a really talented player, but the level of competition would affect anyone else that isn’t named Manning. He’s probably still a fringe 5 star guy to me if I’m ranking him that way, but he’s not a prospect that deserves a “perfect” ranking.
Any other player that plays that poor of competition and doesn’t attend camps would almost be blacklisted from being a 5 star.
As a freshman, I don’t know if he’d have the goods to be a Power 5 starter. The jump in competition is too big. But as a Sophomore or Junior? He definitely will be starting. The kid is talented.
SEC Recruiting Analyst:
Arch Manning throws from a variety of angles but does have an elongated, winding motion. I want to see him step into his throws more, but he has the arm strength to still push it down the field regardless.
He brings serviceable running ability and will take on contact. Plays with his eyes down the field consistently and I like his awareness when plays are broken down. I also like his moxy and composure.
I certainly don’t think he’s a guaranteed Heisman winner like everybody may be thinking but this is a potentially good starter in the SEC with ability to expand on that to even being outstanding with the talent around him that he’ll have at Texas.