Arch Manning has been the talk of the town on the 40 Acres. You could confidently say he is the most discussed third-string quarterback in the country but it’s for good reason. The 2023 On3 Industry Rankings rated him as the No. 1 overall prospect in the country with Five-Star Plus+ status. Spring practice is now over and intrigue is growing even more.
Bobby Burton of Inside Texas joined J.D. PicKell for the On3 Roundtable, discussing how Manning looked during spring practice. Burton came impressed, saying he looks “as polished” as both Eli Manning and Peyton Manning.
“I saw him three times this spring and he is as polished and as far ahead of the game as a quarterback can be,” Burton said. “I saw both of his uncles in high school as well when they came out and then saw them as freshmen at their respective universities. He’s as polished as his uncles and I think he’s very, very talented. He’s going to be a great quarterback someday.”
Part of the package deal of getting Manning is the pressure of his last name. His two uncles are both on track to be Pro Football Hall of Famers, while his grandfather was a star in the NFL as well. There is not a bigger naming going in the sport of football right now.
And for now, the Manning getting the most attention is Arch. People are going to expect him to make contributions right away despite being a young true freshman. Burton believes Manning needs some time to get accustomed to college but when his name is called down the road, the physical stature will be there.
“There’s no question there’s an added value to it,” Burton said. “It’s an added expectation from a fandom that sometimes gets a little bit ahead of itself. I think you got to keep in mind that he’s only an 18-year-old guy that’s supposed to still be in high school right now. But physically, he is really, really well put together. Had a very encouraging spring, in my opinion. And Texas is loaded at the quarterback position overall.”
No need to draw negatives from Arch Manning spring game performance
When looking at the Texas spring game box score, the stats from Manning do not pop. He completed just five of 13 throws, going for 30 yards. Turning on the film will not help either as defenders were constantly closing in on the quarterback and making him uncomfortable.
Social media was not too kind either. However, context is important as Manning was sitting with third-team guys going up against players expected to make significant contributions for the Longhorns this season.
“If anybody drew a negative conclusion from (the spring game), they’re fooling himself,” Burton said. “He was paired with the third team offensive line, going up against the first and second team defense. So, he had no time. Maybe had time twice when he wasn’t flushed from the pocket. He is a strong-armed quarterback, decisive, quick, gets rid of it quick, has good feet in the pocket.
“But if you’re looking to draw conclusions from the spring game, you didn’t see him at other times during the spring. And, when you’re going up with a third-string offensive line, made up almost exclusively of true freshmen that are also supposed to be in high school right now against guys that I think are going to be drafted next year.”
Quinn Ewers is going to be the starter for Texas for the 2023 season, with Steve Sarkisian declaring so following the spring game. Manning will have time to develop under the head coach and settle into his role. He will be a lot more comfortable by the time he is competing for the starting role in 2024.
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