Recently, a video of Arch Manning throwing an absolute dime at the Texas Longhorns indoor practice facility has been doing the rounds on the internet.
The video has fueled the hype and excitement around his arrival in Austin. And many people are buying into the idea of him being a day-one starter and leading Texas straight back to championship glory.
However, it may be time to pump the breaks.
Because a single throw from a single workout doesn’t determine his place on the roster.
Quinn Ewers was more than capable as a quarterback last season and will only improve this off-season. By all accounts, he should be QB1 in 2023. And be a really good one at that.
This doesn’t mean that Manning won’t put up a fight for the job in spring. Undoubtedly he will compete for the job and more videos of him making impressive throws will be circulated online.
But it’s time to be realistic about Manning and his collegiate development. The reality is, he may not even make second on the depth chart.
Maalik Murphy, a four-star quarterback in his own right, has been in the Texas program for a year. He didn’t see any playing time last year, but by all accounts, he is highly thought of in Austin.
Legendary Texas quarterback Vince Young recently said that he has heard about the possibility of Manning taking a redshirt in 2023.
This would take a lot of pressure off Manning and the coaching staff. It would alleviate the temptation to put him out there if things start going south for Ewers during the season.
Manning would get the opportunity to sit back and learn about the team, how the system works, and how they travel. He would get the chance to ease into his academic life without the pressures of having to perform on Saturdays.
By no means is this a negative knock, or a potential problem for Arch Manning.
There is such a thing as playing too early. Getting thrust onto the field before you’re ready can have dire consequences. We’ve seen potential talents spoiled in the past by being exposed early. Manning is not an average talent, but why run the risk of the same happening to him?
Manning and his family committed to Texas knowing this would be the case.
The generational quarterback had his pick of elite colleges. Most notably Georgia and Alabama. Both of them have open quarterback positions heading into the season.
He could have also gone to Miami, Tennessee, or Oklahoma and earned the starting job almost immediately.
In today’s College Football world, Manning could have flipped his commitment to go to a program guaranteeing him the QB1 slot. But he opted to stick with Texas.
The Longhorns are heading to the SEC in 2024. And as we know, the SEC is a different level of College Football.
They will have to be better than they have been in recent years to keep up with the SEC. They can’t allow themselves to be lost in the SEC shuffle early in their tenure. Having a solid quarterback who has settled into College life and spent a year learning under Steve Sarkisian would be instrumental.
Texas will always have National Championship expectations set on them. And Arch Manning is being heralded as the captain able to lead them back there.
But a lot has to happen from now till then. Although we may not see Arch take the field in 2023, the work will start this season.
This article was written by our new writer Ross Love. Thanks to Ross for contributing this article and you can catch more of his work here in the future.
Feature Image Credit: ESPN