There is no question football’s royal family is the Mannings. No last name carries quite the same weight than the one that Archie Manning, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning all don. After all, the three quarterbacks that incredibly shared the same roof at one point accounted for more than 150,000 passing yards and 1,000 touchdowns in the NFL.
If you could create the perfect quarterback specimen in a lab, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pour some of that coveted Manning DNA in the beaker. Mix in bits and pieces from the abilities of Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady and you’ve got yourself a Hall-of-Fame franchise signal caller.
Those are the sky-high expectations for the next star in the Manning lineage: Arch Manning. The son of the third manning brother, Cooper Manning, Arch is a freshman at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans in 2019, which is the same Louisiana high school all of Archie’s sons played at.
Arch won’t graduate until 2023, but the freshman already started at quarterback for the Greenies and led them to a 9-1 regular season and playoff berth in his first season. He was named MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year.
His grandfather, Archie, has already said that Arch is better than Peyton or Eli were at his age as high school quarterbacks. Both of them played junior varsity as freshmen.
Arch Manning Recruiting
Arch doesn’t have any stars next to his name, at least not yet. But Ole Miss, where Archie and Eli both played and Cooper committed to play, has already taken notice. So has the University of Tennessee, where uncle Peyton starred at before a storied career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.
According to Rivals, LSU is also in the mix right now as well. Those three schools have the best chance at nabbing the quarterback with a bright future ahead of him.
By the time he’s a junior or senior, he could have the likes of SEC powerhouses Alabama and Georgia, as well as other top college football programs, bidding for the phenom’s services.
Archie has told reporters that his grandson isn’t talking to colleges or media yet, as he’s still just a freshman. There’s no doubt that schools are chomping at the bit to see how he the 6-foot, 160-pound quarterback progresses on the football field every Friday night.
In his very first game at the varsity level, he threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns passes on 24-of-34 passing with one interception in a 41-15 win against Lusher.
“We wanted to see maturity and pocket presence, and he did everything we asked him to do as far as executing our offense and his ability to stay mature and balanced leading our wide receivers,” Newman High head coach Nelson Stewart told NOLA.com. “That’s why he’s in this position.”
As you’ll see in the highlights below, Arch has considerably better agility than either of his uncles did. That’s not a huge surprise considering his father was deemed the better overall athlete than Peyton or Eli. Cooper committed to play wide receiver for the Rebels before a rare spinal condition diagnosis forced him off the gridiron at 18.
Arch Manning Highlights
It’s hard to contain excitement when watching Arch, because his bloodline is so terrific. Watching a poised Manning in the pocket dropping in dimes to wide receivers, even at the high school football level, is undeniably awesome.
Arch stole the show in the team’s fall spring game scrimmage and firmly solidified why he’s starting as a freshman.
In one game his freshman season, he threw for five touchdowns and ran in another one in a 48-21 win over Reserve (La.) Riverside. He racked up 289 yards all with Peyton watching from the stands.
That’s not to say Arch doesn’t have flaws and won’t have bad performances.
He was intercepted just once through his first four games before the Booker T. Washington Lions picked him off four times in a single game. Arch bounced back, however, and led the Greenies in a fourth-quarter touchdown drive to win the game, 27-20, much like you’d expect the nephew of Peyton and Eli to do.
Arch Manning Highlights
While it’s still early (read: VERY EARLY), it’s totally normal to be giddy over a teenager’s football skills, even if he’s recently out of middle school. Why? Because he’s a Manning.
But football isn’t the only place Arch thrives. On the basketball court, Manning helped the Greenies to the quarterfinal round of Louisiana’s Division III high school basketball tournament with a shot at the state title up for grabs.
Even cooler: the last time Newman High School won a state championship in basketball? Current coach Randy Livingston starred on team alongside Cooper and Peyton Manning.
He’s expected to do great things. Whether that’s play 15 years in the league and win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants or win five MVPs like his uncles remains to be seen.
The world is going to keep a close eye on Arch Manning for the next three years, and hopefully one day he’s an All-American SEC passer declaring for the NFL Draft.
You just hope he knows how to handle the pressure and hype. The good news is he can always ask whomever is sitting across from him at Thanksgiving for advice.
This article was originally published November 18, 2019.