Recruiting Roundup: Arch Manning’s epic journey continues
“Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris. Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit. litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto. Inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum, multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem, Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.”
These are the opening lines of Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid.” The 12 books take one through the journey of Trojan hero prince Aeneas who was the son of Venus and Anchises. It ultimately reveals the story of the building of Rome from the ashes of Troy.
At the heart of the journey is the young prince Aeneas who faces many trials and tribulations along the way and must remain resolute in the tasks in front of him that he needs to complete in order to fulfill his destiny. Ultimately, Aeneas leads those who remain from the fall of Troy through the Mediterranean and to the future site of Rome — where he becomes the founder of Roman greatness.
So I know you are probably wondering why on earth I’m talking about the dead language of Latin and some Trojan hero named Aeneas who was written about between 30 and 19 BC…..
How does that have anything to do with recruiting or Ole Miss? By now I think most of y’all figured out I am not the most conventional sports writer, but there is a method to the off-beat writing here.
Future hero with a family legacy
I picked this epic tale because it reminded me of a similar journey for someone who many think of as a “future hero” in the eyes of Ole Miss football — quarterback Arch Manning, grandson of Archie, son of Cooper, and nephew to Peyton and Eli.
Arch is at the forefront of the 2023 recruiting class, not just for the Rebels but for the nation’s top teams across the country.
The 5-star quarterback out of New Orleans is a towering 6-foot-4 inches tall and weighs in at 208 pounds. He sits as the No. 2 overall player in the nation, regardless of position, the No. 1 QB, and the No. 1 player in the state of Louisiana in the class of 2023.
Of course, it is no surprise that he already has 12 offers from every high-profile Power 5 school from Texas to the Carolinas, with Texas, Alabama, and Clemson being at the forefront of the list.
That being said, don’t count out our Ole Miss Rebels.
Manning is a pro-style passer with extreme athleticism, and he’s not afraid to scramble and make plays happen on the fly. He’s got great intuition — with that internal clock all the great QBs have — to anticipate what is coming and react quickly. He is indeed a smooth operator who has consistent delivery and stays on top of the ball.
Arch Manning scrambles and lobs it up on 3rd and 5 👀 pic.twitter.com/cp0x1VOh1k
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 16, 2020
Gabe Brooks, a scout for 247Sports has this to say about Arch:
*Opens 2026 NFL draft doc…*
Arch Manning, y’all pic.twitter.com/DBs2Civ72U
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 3, 2020
Unofficial visit to Ole Miss
Before visiting the Rebels, Arch made trips to Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, SMU and Texas in June.
But on Monday, July 26, we finally got a glimpse of what the world of Rebel football might look like with Arch on campus, as he took his first unofficial recruiting visit to Ole Miss as he closed out his summer recruiting visits.
By all accounts, the visit went very well as Arch was able to spend time with head coach Lane Kiffin and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. He’ll now be readying to delve into his junior season at Isidore Newman in hopes of winning that first state football title for the Greenies.
In two seasons as Newman’s starting quarterback, Arch has led his team to an 18-3 record, throwing for a combined 4,081 yards and 53 touchdowns (with just 13 interceptions) and amassed a 68% completion rate.
Our own Aeneas
Arch is like our own Aeneas in a way; he is a very different type of recruit with bloodlines that run deep. A young man like Arch needs the opportunity to experience his recruitment — even though that means going to see other potential places outside of Oxford, a place that surely must feel like a second home.
While there are other schools catching his eye, that is certainly no surprise. Arch owns generational talent and should take all the time he needs to make his decision. Sometimes, it’s important to let a kid be a kid — and have fun and enjoy this moment he won’t get back.
Speaking of having fun….this is a cute video of Arch posted on Twitter Tuesday where he jokes about the school he’ll attend:
Dang ol breaking news pic.twitter.com/r4dAFZhqDo
— Mississippi Boomhauer (@sippiboomhauer) July 27, 2021
Following the video, his Uncle Eli had this response:
This is the definition of Fake News! https://t.co/aElmfyHdDf
— Eli Manning (@EliManning) July 27, 2021
The epic journey
No doubt Coach Kiffin and company are working hard on recruiting Arch and doing all they can to bring this talented young man to town. There will be ups and downs on this journey, Rebs. The Crimson Tide, Longhorns, Bulldogs (the Georgia kind), and all the Tigers are formidable adversaries, indeed. But it will be worth it if Arch becomes the next in the storied Manning legacy to lead the Rebels at Ole Miss.
“I sing of arms and the man, he who, exiled by fate, first came from the coast of Troy to Italy, and to Lavinian shores – hurled about endlessly by land and sea, by the will of the gods. Long-suffering also in war, until he founded a city and brought his gods to Latium: from that the Latin people came, the lords of Alba Longa, the walls of noble Rome.” — Virgil
(Feature image credit: The Sporting News)
Follow The Rebel Walk’s Director of Recruiting Lee Ann Herring here for the latest recruiting updates for Ole Miss and the SEC.