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What’s next in Arch Manning’s recruitment for Georgia Football and Texas
Recently signed quarterback Eli Holstein for Alabama has been considered significant in the recruiting world. Not so much because Alabama landed another top quarterback prospect — Holstein ranks 69th overall in the On3 consensus rankings — but more because it made the quarterback prospect the No. 1 in class .
Alabama was one of three teams considered serious contenders for Arch Manning. Along with Georgia and Texas, Alabama was due to receive an official visit from Manning next month.
Related: What it means: 4-Star 2023 Louisiana QB Eli Holstein commits to Alabama
That Alabama appears to have pulled out of the Manning deal would align with Manning’s recent comments on his hiring.
“I really have no idea right now,” Manning told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell. “I’ve narrowed it down a bit. I don’t have a schedule or anything like that. I’m kind of concentrating on spring football right now.”
While teams like LSU and Florida will be fighting for Alabama’s spot, it now seems very much like a Texas-Georgia battle for Manning’s services.
Two programs that couldn’t be more different at this point in time.
Georgia comes from a national championship. Texas lost to Kansas last year. The Bulldogs had drafted 15 players. Texas had zero.
The Bulldogs are led by a defensive coach who was an assistant to Nick Saban before he got the job in Georgia. Texas is led by an offensive assistant in Steve Sarkisian, who was also a Saban assistant before opening in Texas.
Whoever ultimately picks Manning will end up with elite quarterback talent. Both schools have shown they can land that, whether it’s Steve Sarkisian’s long string of wins in quarterback recruiting or Smart’s ability to land 5-star prospects like Jacob Eason, Justin Fields and Brock Vandagriff.
Landing Manning is also likely to bring a wealth of other talented recruits, as is often the case with 5-star quarterbacks. Georgia saw this firsthand with Fields in the 2018 class. But good recruitment is not a problem for either school. Texas inked class #5 in the 2022 recruitment cycle, while Georgia signed class #3.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two sides is how Georgia develops all of that talent and how Texas couldn’t.
The Longhorns haven’t produced a first-round pick on the offensive side of the ball since Vince Young in the 2006 NFL Draft. In addition to the zero picks in last year’s draft, Texas had previously picked just 15 players in five drafts.
For someone who wants to someday play in the NFL, developability will play a major role in Manning’s decision.
“I think Georgia has really good staff,” said Arch Manning. “You just got back from a national championship. There are many good players. Especially in defence. You saw last year that you were surrounded by talent. 15 NFL draft picks. There is a lot to like about Georgia.”
Up to this point, Sarkisian has been consulted. Not specifically for Manning, but more for his ability to bring out the best in quarterbacks. Think of his work with Mac Jones and Tua Tagvailoa. The two quarterbacks signed in the same recruiting cycle, and both went their own way to becoming first-round picks. Quinn Ewers, who was the Manning guy before Manning, will be worth watching for Texas this year to see how he plays in Sarkisian’s system.
Related: The nation’s No. 1 prospect Arch Manning has set the dates for three major official visits
Despite all of Smart’s successes in Georgia, he has yet to develop a first-round quarterback. The hope is that the longer Todd Monken stays in Athens, the sooner this gets fixed. Like Sarkisian, Monken has experience as the NFL’s offensive coordinator. He has proven to be a crucial player for Georgia as his offense averaged 38.6 points per game last season.
“I’ve been contacted by coaches and GMs who have been impressed with our guys’ training habits, demeanor and demeanor — these are all things we try to give Georgia credit for,” Smart said in February.