Recruitment battle for Arch Manning is ‘wide open’

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Arch Manning won’t necessarily be following in the footsteps of uncle Eli and grandpa Archie at Ole Miss.

He isn’t destined to rejuvenate Tennessee as the second-coming of uncle Peyton.

The recruitment of the third generation Manning quarterback prodigy will include dozens of schools, according to a report that named Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Texas and Virginia as those with a shot to land the prize of the 2023 recruiting class.

“I’m wide, wide open,” the young Manning said in a rare interview granted to The Athletic.

Trevor Lawrence hasn’t yet thrown his first pass in the NFL and already college football has moved on to its next can’t-miss prospect. Lawrence was the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, scouted as one of the best of the last 40 years, along with John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.

It’s not difficult to forecast 16-year-old Arch in that mold by 2026. But where will he develop?

Newman High School quarterback Arch Manning (16)
Arch Manning can become his family’s third generation of college football star.
AP

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Arch is entering his junior year at Isiodore Newman, where he is breaking the records set by Peyton and Eli, and is coached by Nelson Stewart, who played with Peyton and coached Odell Beckham Jr. in high school.   

LSU landed Beckham but is 0-for-3 on landing Manning quarterbacks – a sore spot in their home state.

The recruitment trail for June includes visits to Clemson this week, SMU and Texas next week, followed by Alabama and Georgia, according to the report. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and Ohio State could slide into the calendar. The Mannings would like to visit Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Duke – where David Cutcliffe, who coached Peyton, Eli and Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in college, is the head coach – per The Athletic.

“Arch is open-minded right now,” Arch’s father Cooper said. “He is going into everything wide-eyed and excited to meet people and develop relationships. He’s starting to figure out what he likes and what he doesn’t like in terms of the offenses and the systems. He’s looking forward to getting a better feel for the schools and their atmospheres.”

LSU began its recruiting blitz at a camp in June 2019, but then-offensive coordinator Joe Brady – who helped quarterback Joe Burrow become the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft – left for the Carolina Panthers.

Newman High School quarterback Arch Manning (16) passes during a playoff game
Arch Manning will have his choice of Division I NCAA football programs.
AP Photo

“I’m the one going to college, not my parents and not my coaches,” Arch said. “No one’s pressuring me to do anything. I mean, I don’t even have to play football in college if I don’t want to. But I want to go play at a good school, and I think every college has something great to offer. I’m not singling out anywhere.”

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