Georgia football is riding a wave of momentum like never before with a CFP Championship and record NFL Draft class in its wake as it makes a run at one of the most celebrated recruits of the millennium.
Arch Manning, nephew of Super Bowl champion quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning and SEC and the grandson of New Orleans quarterback legend Archie Manning, begins spring drills this week
SENTELL’S INTEL: Arch Manning, The young man behind the famous name
For all the enthusiasm surrounding Manning, whose workouts this week are expected to draw elite college coaches and media, it’s a phenomenon that has stopped short of hype -- to this point.
The social media aspect so common among young prospects is missing, with Arch yet to brand himself on Twitter.
“I told Arch the other day I was proud of him because I saw a list of top-10 players,” Archie Manning said last week in Birmingham, per an AL.com report.
“It gave their weight, school, blah, blah, blah and their Twitter account. He was the only one who didn’t have an (active) Twitter account, so I said I’m proud of him for that. It will all work out.
“He’s handling it well. He’s mature enough to make his own decision and will make a good decision and it will all work out.”
SENTELL’S INTEL: Following up on Arch Manning’s visit to Athens
Georgia is an obvious attraction for Arch Manning with former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken pulling the strings and former Southern Miss offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner in the fold.
The Bulldogs run the sort of Pro-Style offense that attracts high-caliber quarterbacks able to make decisions and reads at the line of scrimmage.
Georgia’s offensive lines under coach Kirby Smart have ranked among the best in the nation, assuring Manning a blanket of protection at his command.
RELATED: Cooper Manning weighs in on recruitment of his son, Arch
Texas and Alabama have also been mentioned as potential frontrunners in this recruiting race, but there are clues Austin and Tuscaloosa might not be the next stop for the Manning brand.
The Tide is projected to land former Texas A&M QB Commit Eli Holstein in its 2023 recruiting class.
Holstein, who led his Zachary program to Lousisiana’s Class 5A state championship last season, de-committed from the Aggies on March 18 and visited Alabama the next weekend.
The Tide also has dual-threat sophomore Jalen Milroe and freshman Ty Simpson in its quarterback room backing up Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young.
Simpson, hand-picked by OC Bill O’Brien, was the nation’s No. 26 overall recruit and No. 3 QB in the 2022 Class.
Coach Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns, meanwhile, already landed one of the biggest quarterback prizes in the most recent transfer portal cycle.
Quinn Ewers, a former 5-star recruit from Southlake, Texas, spent last fall in Columbus, Ohio, with the Buckeyes before deciding to return home
Ewers was the highest-rated prospect to ever sign with Ohio State as the No. 1 overall player in the 2021 class.
Now settled in at Texas, it’s only a matter of time before Ewers takes over the Longhorns’ offense, and with four years of eligibility remaining.
Manning would certainly also have competition at Georgia, but none of the Bulldogs’ backups ranked as high as Ewers coming out of high school (per 247Sports composite):
• Carson Beck (’20), No. 250 overall in nation, No. 9 Pro Style QB
• Brock Vandagriff (’21), No. 17 overall, No. 4 Quarterback
• Gunner Stockton (’22), No. 124 overall, No. 7 Quarterback
To boot, Smart and Monken have made it clear that sixth-year quarterback Stetson Bennett will maintain starting duties for the Bulldogs this season.
The fact there is no QB competition in Athens bodes well for Manning, who presumably would not be competing against a quarterback with a great deal of game experience in 2023.
Such conjecture has been widely discussed by those who follow Georgia football and recognize the dynamics involved in Manning’s recruitment.
The process is much more complex than it was the last time a Manning quarterback was coveted in the collegiate ranks.
“When Peyton, Eli and Cooper went through it, it really didn’t turn up until the spring before their senior year,” Archie Manning said. “They might have been getting letters but with Arch, it started in the seventh grade.
“I guess it still comes down to the end of just trying to pick a place … I know Arch, he wants to where he’s going to be happy as a student, too.”
First things first, Arch Manning has a senior year of high school football to prepare for, and that starts this week.
Check back for more recruiting coverage with DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell