Popular QB recruit Arch Manning has verbally committed to Texas, and while he has yet to sign, there is no indication he will change his mind.
Jeff Sentell / DawgNation

Quarterback guru David Cutcliffe theorizes why Arch Manning didn’t choose Georgia

ATHENS — Championship coaches like Kirby Smart take a hard look in the mirror after defeats, be that on the field or on the recruiting trail.

And, make no mistake about it, Georgia losing out on legacy quarterback Arch Manning was a loss that continues to reverberate in some water cooler recruiting discussions.

RELATED: Arch Manning chooses Texas over Georgia

The Bulldogs recruiting remains on track in 2023, currently fourth in the nation per 247sports - one spot ahead of Texas -- despite not have a QB on its list.

Few coaches know and understand quarterbacks like former SEC Coach of the Year and ACC Coach of the Year David Cutcliffe, who coached NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning at Tennessee, Eli Manning at Ole Miss and Daniel Jones at Duke.

Cutcliffe took time with DawgNation to share thoughts on why Arch Manning would choose a shaky program like Texas over Smart and his Bulldogs in the 2023 signing class.

“How do you separate? I think it does come down to what you feel when you’re on a campus,” said Cutcliffe, who now works as a special assistant in the SEC office.

“When all of us are face to face, it’s different than a phone or a zoom,” he said.

“I’ve always told players in recruiting, you don’t choose places, you choose the people. Which would include players. You go in a locker room and you feel something or not.”

Smart has worked hard to build team chemistry, and many defensive players cited that as part of the program’s 2021 national championship run.

The dynamics in each team meeting and within each position group are different, however, and fluid to say the least.

Cutcliffe’s first observation makes as much sense as anything.

On the surface, it wouldn’t seem rational for a well-studied prospect like Manning to pick the 5-7 Longhorns over a defending national championship team like Georgia, or a dynasty program like Alabama, for that matter.

The Bulldogs have a deep and talented offensive line that looks to continue its pipeline into the NFL.

There are strong, reliable pass-catching targets at tight end and receiver at UGA and versatile running backs.

The Longhorns are an uncertain venture with second-year coach Steve Sarkisian.

Sarkisian has put past personal issues behind him, but he has struggled to regain momentum as a head coach after a curious 2021 campaign that included a home loss to Kansas.

So what else might have gone into Arch Manning’s thinking, from the strong visit he enjoyed at Georgia last fall, before becoming a Texas commit after official visits in the spring?

Manning, by all reports, enjoyed his time at the Georgia-South Carolina game last September, seeing a version of Todd Monken’s Pro Style Spread that would best fit his skills.

The Georgia recruiting effort was strong, too, with DawgNation recruiting analyst Jeff Sentell reporting in May that:

“(Todd) Monken and offensive staffer Buster Faulkner have done a remarkable job with the Manning recruitment up to this point. Can’t stress that enough.”

NextFlorida sack artist Brenton Cox puts Georgia offensive line on notice
Leave a Comment