Arch Manning has some big shoes to fill. As a result, the grandson of Archie, son of Cooper and nephew of Eli and Peyton has a lot of outside pressure on his shoulders.
Manning, who is the No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2023, committed to Texas before his senior season. Since then, he has made opposing defenses look silly with some spicy runs, dropped an absolute dime for the best touchdown of his life, broke both of his uncles’ high school records while making a ridiculous off-balance throw, and led an epic second-half comeback last week.
While Isidore Newman typically plays on Friday nights, the Greenies are off this weekend. They have a bye week before closing out the regular season with three tough matchups, two of which will be on the road.
To take advantage of the time off, Manning is back in the Lone Star State to visit his future school. Texas plays Iowa State this weekend and their future at quarterback is expected to be on-hand.
The last time that Manning was in Austin, the Longhorns spent a small fortune on his (and six other top recruits’) visit. That will not be the case this weekend.
Manning has already used his official visit to Texas, so he is going on his own. He and his family will pay their way west to watch the Big-12 Conference matchup.
When Manning makes his way out onto the field or into the stands at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, he will have a lot of eyes watching his every move. Though that is already the case with everything that he does.
It’s not easy to be a “normal” high school kid when you are Arch Manning
Despite all of the outside noise and pressure, uncle Eli says that his nephew is “doing great.”
“I’ve just been proud of Arch on how he’s handled this whole situation,” Eli told PEOPLE. “I know there’s been a lot of pressure on him, since he was a freshman in high school and was the starting quarterback.”
When it comes to trying to help Arch be the best player that he can be, Eli joked that there is nothing more he can add.
“He’s broken all my records and Peyton’s records, so I don’t know if he needs any more advice from me right now,” he said.
As Arch prepares to visit his future program this weekend, Eli had nothing but good things to say about his nephew’s decision and the Longhorns.
“[Texas is] a great place,” the two-time Super Bowl champion said. “I know he’ll make great friends, great teammates and hopefully win a bunch of football games. He’ll have a great college experience.”
When Arch arrives on campus, just because he is who he is, doesn’t mean that it will be easy. There is still a long road ahead of him, especially if he wants to live up to the greatness of the Mannings who came before.
“Next year, he’ll go off to college and there will be more fights,” Eli said about Arch’s future. “It’s all about trying to earn the respect of your teammates, your coaches, have a great work ethic and enjoy the college experience.”
It is unclear as to when Arch will enroll at Texas, but he is slated to sign in December, which would allow him to enroll in the spring, should he choose to do so. However, with Quinn Ewers already slated to start next fall, there is no rush. Manning can finish out his senior year of high school and run it back for one last season on the hardwood in the spring.