If being tabbed the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the nation wasn’t enough pressure to place on a 15-year-old High School Sophmore, how about adding the burden of living up to arguably the most storied last name in NFL history?
However, Isidore Newman quarterback Arch Manning takes it in stride. In fact, if Thursday night was any indication, he thrives on it.
Arch Manning Dominantes in ESPN Debut
The grandson of two-time Pro Bowler Archie Manning and the nephew of Super Bowl Champions Peyton and Eli, Arch Manning is no stranger to the spotlight. Manning made his national TV debut on Thursday night, taking on rival New Orleans (La.) program, KIPP Booker T. Washington on ESPN2.
Arguably the most hyped high school prodigy of our generation, Manning lived up to 247Sports‘ billing as the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the class of 2023. Isidore Newman steamrolled KIPP Booker T. Washington to the tune of 55-22, thanks in large part to the 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound signal-caller. Manning combined for three total touchdowns on the night, hitting on 21 of his 26 pass attempts for 241 yards and a touchdown.
Aside from his passing prowess, Arch flashed impressive nimbleness outside of the pocket, a skillset superior to even that of his two Super Bowl-winning uncles. Manning notched two rushing touchdowns and continuously extended plays with his feet throughout the game.
If that wasn’t enough, Manning put forth his best Patrick Mahomes impression, adding in a no-look deep ball to his ever-growing highlight reel.
Manning’s play not only grabbed the eyes of the viewers but also left ESPN College Football National Recruiting Coordinator Craig Haubert thoroughly impressed.
“You think about today’s game, the athleticism he has to adapt to today’s college offenses and just the poise he has, the little things he does,” Haubert said, per USA Today. “Everything that we thought we may see we kind of saw tonight. I think we saw the accuracy, the poise, the athleticism, the ability to extend plays. He made some mistakes tonight but I think the big thing is he consistently bounced back from those.”
Manning did have two interceptions on the night, each of which bounced off the receivers’ hands. Yet for the most part, the quarterback was cool, calm and collected, wheeling and dealing as he had been all season long leading up to Thursday night. Entering the KIPP Booker T. Washington game, Manning owned a 76% completion percentage on the year. He’s now recorded 12 total touchdowns in just three games this year.
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‘Arch is His Own Entity’
While we all know Arch’s famous uncles and grandfather, his father, Cooper Manning was no slouch on the gridiron himself. Cooper was an All-State wide receiver at Newman and a Ole Miss commit before a spinal injury (spinal stenosis) ended his career.
Yet, despite his storied relatives, Arch’s head coach Nelson Stewart believes it’s crucial his quarterback stays true to himself.
“Arch is his own entity,” Stewart told ESPN. “That’s one thing we tell him is, you be yourself. What a great resource he has with his uncles, grandfather and dad that can work with him and help, but as a sophomore, I would hope no one would put that label on him because there’s so much growth still to happen. We let Arch be Arch, let him be a sophomore.”
According to Rivals, Alabama, Arkansas, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, North Carolina and Tennessee are the nine programs to offer Manning a scholarship thus far.
They certainly won’t be the last.
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