Arch Manning’s Brutal Spring Game Lowlights Serve As Important Reminder Of Expectations: Grayson Weir

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Arch Manning’s first “game” at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium did not go well. That’s okay.

He’s 17.

Manning, the most polarizing recruit in recent history, carries the most famous last name in football. His every move over the last few years have been well-documented— even here at OutKick.

As the nephew of Eli and Peyton, grandson of Archie and son of Cooper made his college decision, there was plenty of scrutiny. Everybody had, and still has, an opinion.

“He wouldn’t even be a five-star without his last name.”


“He plays against JV teams.”

“He wouldn’t even start if he played at a real school.”

The criticism, though some of it valid, largely out-weighed those who were in support. Manning’s haters, per usual, were much louder and Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian praised both him and his family for how they handled the mayhem of it all.

Manning ultimately committed to play for the Longhorns and chose to skip out on the second semester of his senior year, and ensuing basketball season, to enroll early in Austin. He has been on campus since January and won’t turn 18 years old until May 19.

Despite his age, and relative inexperience against high-level competition, there was a lot of weight on Manning’s shoulders. Not internally, but externally.

That outside noise only got louder when Sarkisian left the door slightly cracked for Manning to win the starting job. It was not like Sarkisian was saying that his five-star freshman had a legitimate chance, but he was not going to rule it out. Because why would he?

Rather than being reasonable, people took Sarkisian’s small opening in the door more like the door was off of the hinge.

Arch Manning was never going to start.

It was always going to be Quinn Ewers, and Maalik Murphy is a very talented backup.

That aforementioned scenario is ultimately what ended up playing out. Ewers will be the starter, and Manning will compete for the QB2 spot.

Although Texas’ quarterback picture was always crystal clear, his debut in Saturday’s spring game was met with unreasonable expectations once again. Many football fans (the haters) wanted to see him step onto the field and throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, and if he didn’t, they were going to rip him to shreds.

He didn’t. Manning was met with deafening cheers, but he did not play well at all.

Manning’s haters were quick to rip him apart online after the rough outing. All of the same chirps from before only got louder.

“He’ll never make in college.”

“Good luck in the SEC.”

“He was always going to be terrible.”

It was endless. It is endless.

Just search “Arch Manning” on Twitter. You’ll be inundated with negativity. None of it matters.

Manning is 17 years old. He’s a freshman in college, who should be a senior in high school, and can’t even hold on to his student ID. There are two talented athletes, including the No. 1 overall recruit in 2021, ahead of him.

This was always going to be this way. Manning is learning. He’s growing. He’s working.

His terrible spring game has nothing to do with the future, and there is no need for Sarkisian and his staff to rush him into the present. Take a deep breath and relax.

Written by Grayson Weir

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

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