Arch Manning’s Role In Freshman Year At Texas Becomes Clear As Longhorns Continue Spring Practice With Healthy Depth Chart

Videos by OutKick

Arch Manning might be the golden child, but his hopes of starting at Texas as a true freshman are slim. It’s not to say that he couldn’t play his way into the QB1 spot. It’s just unlikely and it always has been.

Manning, the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2023, chose to forgo the second semester of his senior year of high school and enroll early in Austin. The move, which is becoming increasingly common within the sport, allows him to get on campus and get a feel for college life before the fall semester hits and football season kicks into gear.

Early enrollment also allows Manning to hit the weight room, get on a college nutrition program, (two things that will serve him well) and participate in spring practice. That may be the most important aspect— he can get on the field with his teammates for the next three/four years (barring transfer) and start to work inside Steve Sarkisian and offensive coordinator Kyle Flood’s offense.

The Longhorns opened spring ball at the beginning of the month and Manning took the field with a college program for the first time. And after his first practice, Sarkisian left the door wide open for his five-star freshman to come in and earn the starting job. As he should.

Manning still has time to earn the opportunity to start for Texas in Week 1. He could turn it on over the next few weeks, dominate in fall camp, and force Sarkisian to give him the nod.

But that is not what is going to happen. The Longhorns’ quarterback room is too talented.

First and foremost, Quinn Ewers is the incumbent. A former five-star, No. 1 overall recruit in his own right, it is the Ohio State transfer’s job to lose.

Behind Ewers is Maalik Murphy, not Arch Manning.

Murphy is a four-star, pro-style quarterback from California who committed to Texas in the Class of 2022. At 6-foot-45, 235 pounds, there is legit NFL potential if he gets the opportunity to play. His high school tape is a lot of fun to watch.

Murphy was injured for the first three practices of the spring and was taking mental reps on the sideline. Tuesday marked his first day back.

Now that he’s at full health, Sarkisian likes what he is seeing from his redshirt freshman.

It was great have to Maalik back out there. He had a minor setback at the end of winter conditioning. We were probably a little bit conservative with him that first week thinking if we back off him the first week of spring ball and spring break, then he can get back and be going back again here in the second week of spring ball. That was positive, to have him back out there.

— Steve Sarkisian

Although it’s too early to give any of his three guys “the nod,” Sarkisian sees an opportunity for Murphy to make his case for the starting job. Ewers will have to keep an eye over his shoulder.

I can’t tell a guy right now at whatever position that he’s the starter regardless. Everybody should be striving to be the best that they can be. We’ve got a long way until we play in September. Ultimately, can Maalik push Quinn? Of course he can. How far can he take it? Quinn’s job is to raise his play so he can’t catch him. That should be at every position across the board.

— Steve Sarkisian

So where does this leave Manning? As of Tuesday, he projects as third of three.

That was already the case. Manning was never supposed to start. He was never even supposed to be the No. 2 guy. Sarkisian isn’t going to close the door, because he shouldn’t, but a redshirt year for Manning is likely in order— as it has been since his commitment.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply