As the 2022 college football season nears, there’s arguably only prize more sought after than the national title this year: the commitment of five-star quarterback Arch Manning.
The disciple of Archie, Peyton and Eli — and son of Cooper — is the top overall recruit in the class of 2023 and can essentially pick which school he wants to play at whether they’ve offered him a scholarship or not.
And considering just about every school in the country has offered him, the anticipation over where he’ll land will blanket every campus this fall.
While we may not be able to bet on his commitment (yet!), that can’t stop us from handicapping the schools in the hunt.
Here’s where things stand in May.
It's a lock
- Ole Miss
Let’s keep one thing straight: we’re not saying where Manning will end up. We’re ranking just how confident fans at these schools should feel about his impending commitment. Are you going to be the one to tell fans from Bama or UGA that they won’t be getting the No. 1 overall recruit? Absolutely not. These fans expect it every single year. Arch’s recruitment is no different.
Alabama and Georgia have been battling for the top high school players for years now. Ole Miss has the charismatic Lane Kiffin at the helm and the Manning name all over campus. Archie and Eli both have their number retired and the school boasts an indoor practice facility named for the famed family.
Arch has also been spotted on campus four times in the last two years.
Yeah, these schools are the frontrunners here.
Texas just barely missed out on the “Lock” tier of these rankings, but don’t let that fool you. The Longhorns are absolutely in on Manning and he may very well end up in Austin. Arch has taken three visits to UT’s campus and the school’s move to the SEC should certainly help things.
LSU has the benefit of being the flagship school of Manning’s home state. It just remains to be seen whether or not Brian Kelly’s dance moves are enough to convince Arch to come to Baton Rouge.
Clemson fans should also be feeling good considering they’ve done nothing but pump out elite NFL quarterbacks on a consistent basis. It sure seems like Manning enjoyed his visit there, too.
- Notre Dame
If Arch doesn’t want to follow his grandfather Archie and uncle Eli to Ole Miss, he could take the Peyton route and head to Tennessee. Is it likely? No. Definitely not. But when you’ve got one Manning among your alumni, you’ve got a prayer.
Unfortunately, that’s about all Tennessee has here, but it’s more than the other three schools on this list can say.
Notre Dame and USC feel like the most likely landing spots should Arch decided to forgo the SEC entirely. Considering how NIL has changed the college landscape, the opportunities in California will surely be enticing and no Notre Dame star has ever struggled to get nationwide attention.
Just happy to be in the conversation
- Miami (FL)
Arch is almost guaranteed not to sign with any of these schools. But look at Virginia go!
Manning’s mother and aunt are Virginia graduates, and Arch’s sister May is a current student. New UVA head coach Tony Elliott even got Manning to make a surprise visit to Grounds, which is the type of thing that makes other recruits go “huh, maybe I should check out Charlottesville?”.
It absolutely matters when the No. 1 player in the country wants to see a school that doesn’t have a history of top-ranked prospects coming to town. Don’t believe me? Kansas fans are still clinging to the brief moment when Ja’Marr Chase committed to the Jayhawks before flipping to LSU.
It was the best eight days in program history since the 2008 Orange Bowl.