Arch Manning sets multiple visits for this fall, including trip to the Vaught
OXFORD, Miss. — Tonight as the sun sets across the country, faithful fans will fill the stands and the sidelines in high school football stadiums to cheer on their teams for yet another exciting edition of Friday Night Lights.
For the Rebels and many of the nation’s top CFB programs, all eyes will be down in the Bayou at Michael Lupin Field in New Orleans for tonight’s Isidore Newman vs. Vandebilt game as the epic recruiting journey shifts into high gear for five-star quarterback Arch Manning, the No.1 prospect for the Class of 2023.
Here’s a look at some of the stops Manning will be making this fall.
Trip to Athens
Manning will waste no time after his season opener to head to the “Classic City” of Athens, GA to kick-off his much-anticipated fall recruiting visits. Saturday he will take in the sights and sounds as No. 3 Georgia hosts South Carolina at 6 PM.
Manning On UGA: “That’s definitely more of a pro-style offense than some colleges. I’m excited and Coach [Todd] Monken is a really good coach and I think they’re going to have a good year and it’s going to be cool watching them in person. Athens is really cool. That was probably the best college town there is. Coach Kirby [Smart] has a good program. He’s a really laid-back, good guy and seems like a guy I want to play for.” (Via USA Today Sports)
They say history often repeats itself, and if it does Arch Manning’s second stop on his recruiting roadshow could be a game-changer, especially for the Ole Miss Rebels.
On Oct. 2nd, Manning-the-younger will head to Tuscaloosa for the SEC West showdown as Ole Miss travels to take on the Crimson Tide.
Flash back to 2015. The Rebels were No. 15 in the nation and 3-0, going on the road to face No. 2 Alabama (2-1). Chad Kelly completed a deflected 66-yard touchdown pass and added two more in the fourth quarter that re-wrote football history down in Bryant-Denny as Ole Miss defeated Alabama, 43-37, to take back-to-back wins. This could be just the stage the Rebels have been waiting for.
Manning on Bama: “Saban he runs a great program and there’s really no loopholes in that, no cutting corners which was amazing. I’d love to be in a program like that, that is organized with Coach Saban. That would be a dream come true.”
Looking at the Longhorns
Manning will take a couple of weeks off before heading to Austin on Oct. 16 as Texas takes on Oklahoma State. The Longhorns have been at the forefront of Manning’s recruitment and continue to set the tone as one of the top programs on his mind.
Manning has been building strong relationships with former Bama OC and current Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian, as well as Longhorns’ quarterbacks coach A.J. Milwee, for a long time and also really has taken a liking to the Texas players during his time down there.
Manning on Texas: “They’re just good guys, laid back people, personable, it’s easy to talk to them. Explosive offense.”
A Visit to The Sip
Arch returns to his home-away-from home here in the ‘Sip on Oct. 23rd. It may be a surreal moment during his recruitment as that date will mark the retirement of his Uncle Eli’s jersey at Ole Miss, along with the Rebels taking on the Bayou Bengals.
Manning on Ole Miss: “Coach Lebby and Coach Kiffin are some of the smartest offensive minds I’ve ever met. I met with Coach Kiffin it seems like four hours and he blew me away with his knowledge and they’re going to put up some points this year and I’m excited to watch them.” (Via USA Today Sports)
Traveling to see the Clemson Tigers
Another strong favorite in Manning’s recruitment is found in Clemson. Manning is set to return Oct. 30th to see the Tigers take on the ‘Noles.
Manning on Clemson: ”The people there are so nice, it seems unreal. They’re great, Coach Swinney and Streeter, they’re awesome. I went to dinner with the whole offensive staff and it was amazing. Clemson, the culture over there is different and it was definitely a great place to visit. The people and the culture, I feel like everyone there is happy around the facility and it seems like a great environment and that’s something I’d want to be a part of.” (Via USA Today Sports)
The Long and Winding Road
While these are the stops he will be making this fall, there are likely going to be many twists and turns on Arch Manning’s road before he makes his final decision.
He is keeping his options open, learning as much as he can about all the programs. He recently mentioned he has also been talking with LSU and Stanford — and we could very well be seeing some more unexpected stops to a few dark horses in the race as we get deeper in the season.
Manning has not set a specific date to announce his commitment or narrow down his top schools. It is no surprise he is being as meticulous on the recruiting trail as he is on the football field. It’s evident he wants to be in a program that is looking to make title runs — but, more importantly, one that has a strong culture on and off the field where it feels like home for him.
The Rebels will have to continue to find ways to set themselves apart in Arch Manning’s recruitment — but they have a lot opportunities to showcase it on the field this Fall.
(Feature image credit of Arch Manning: AP Photo/Ted Jackson)
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.