The Arch Manning Era at Texas got off to its unofficial start in April during the Longhorns’ spring game. He looked a bit shaky, throwing for 30 yards on 5-of-13 passing in the scrimmage — his first in front of a packed house.
It might not have been the start Manning envisioned. However, as his Uncle Eli said at the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La., fans shouldn’t worry too much about the performance.
“For me, I don’t remember many of my spring games,” Eli Manning said. “I don’t remember many of my preseason games. Spring games, you can’t look too much into it.”
Arch Manning enrolled early at Texas after garnering plenty of hype on the recruiting trail. A Five Star Plus+ recruit — meaning he was one of the only players ranked by all four major recruiting media companies as a five star — Manning was the No. 1 recruit in the nation from the 2023 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.
By enrolling in the spring, Manning gave up his spring semester of high school. That meant other 2023 graduates were getting ready for their final couple months before college. It also meant Manning was younger than most of his Texas teammates during the spring game, and Inside Texas insider Justin Wells wrote he “looked like a young prospect that is missing senior prom.”
That youth, according to Eli, means Arch has plenty of room to grow. His success in Austin will depend on just how well he develops under the watchful eye of Steve Sarkisian, which is why practice is essential.
“I know, for him, it’s about getting in there. Getting into practices, getting in the weight room, learning the playbook,” Eli Manning said. “He was still a senior in high school when he went through that spring game. He’s got a lot to learn. But every rep’s important, every practice is important and he’ll just continue to get better and more comfortable.”
Sarkisian has previously said the plan is for Arch Manning to sit behind Quinn Ewers in 2023. The two have also developed quite a bond, as Ewers said at the Manning Passing Academy. By starting Ewers, Sarkisian will give Manning a chance to get acquainted with the college game after a record-setting high school career.
Texas lifts the curtain on its 2023 season against Rice on Sept. 2.