Texas landed one of the most high-profile recruits in years in Arch Manning, but the top quarterback prospect won't necessarily see the field early in his college career.
Manning, considered the No. 1 overall player in the 2023 recruiting class by 247Sports composite rankings, announced Thursday he will play his college ball in Austin:
The issue is the Longhorns will have a loaded quarterback room by the time Manning arrives on campus.
Here is a projected quarterback depth chart for the team in 2023:
- Quinn Ewers, Sophomore
- Arch Manning, Freshman
- Hudson Card, Junior
- Maalik Murphy, Sophomore
- Charles Wright, Sophomore
Manning is an obvious talent who comes with impressive pedigree as the nephew of Eli and Peyton Manning.
"He does have a big arm," a coach who recruited Manning told Pete Thamel of ESPN. "He's a lot more mobile than everyone thinks. He's not like a Manning who can't move. He can get out of trouble. He's not a statue in pocket. He played basketball and can dunk.
"He's a prototypical kid that sees the field well. He's not going to make bad decisions and not make bad plays worse and will truly run the offense."
The 6'4", 215-pound Louisiana prep star will join a team that already has an elite prospect at the position:
Julian Council @JulianCouncil
Y’all do know that Quinn Ewers gets to start an entire season before Arch Manning steps foot on campus, right? Ewers, like Arch, had a perfect 1.0000 rating on the 247 sports composite. He too was a “can’t miss” prospect. He’s not transferring, Arch is gonna have to wait.
Ewers was the No. 1 overall prospect in 2021, initially committing to Ohio State before transferring to Texas. The redshirt freshman has yet to see the field for UT, but he is expected to take over as the Longhorns' starting quarterback in 2022.
As long as he reaches even modest expectations, it doesn't seem likely Texas would bench its incumbent starter for a true freshman. Ewers, not Manning, would likely be the key in getting the program back on track after a 5-7 finish in the first year under head coach Steve Sarkisian.
The rest of the depth chart also features some exciting options, including Card. The Austin native is the only returning player with college experience, appearing in eight games last season while making two starts.
The sophomore totaled five touchdowns with just one interception during his time on the field, completing 61.4 percent of his passes. As a former 4-star recruit who was considered the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in his class, Card represents another strong option for Texas.
Murphy is another high-upside quarterback who was a 4-star recruit in 2022, committing to the Longhorns over Alabama.
It means snaps won't just be given to Manning—they will need to be earned.
The most likely scenario is Manning redshirts as a freshman or sees limited playing time behind Ewers. If Ewers leaves for the 2024 NFL draft, it will be up to Manning to beat out the more experienced Card and Murphy for a starting role in his second year with the program.