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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Arch Manning in Tim Tebow function? How Texas can maximize potential of star backup QB to gas nationwide title run

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The lasting second of Texas‘ season was not of beating Alabama, successful the Huge 12 or producing Outland Trophy winner T’Vondre Sweat. As a substitute, it was a viral picture of beginning quarterback Quinn Ewers alone at an empty podium wanting again at his backup, Arch Manning, surrounded by a mob of reporters forward of the Longhorns’ first-ever look within the School Soccer Playoff. 

Texas and the Manning household have completed a sensational job of defending Arch from what could possibly be main distractions. He dedicated to the Longhorns with a easy tweet. When Ewers determined to return for a 3rd season because the starter, Manning by no means flirted with the switch portal. His solely public NIL deal was a charity drive with Panini America, which additionally featured his solely different tweets since committing. Texas coach Steve Sarkisian publicly named Ewers the starter heading into spring camp — there’s zero open competitors. 

Manning performed solely two video games in his debut season and threw simply 5 passes in a 57-7 win over Texas Tech. Whereas Texas’ 2023 season was outlined by defending Manning throughout his redshirt season, 2024 is completely different. The Longhorns have to unleash him. 

Few quarterback rooms — if any — within the historical past of school soccer match the pedigree of the 2024 Texas room. Ewers and Manning every ranked No. 1 of their respective recruiting lessons, turning into the primary No. 1 general quarterback recruits to play subsequent to one another within the fashionable recruiting period. 

Ewers has lived as much as the hype, throwing for five,656 yards and 37 touchdowns in two seasons. Throughout a run to the School Soccer Playoff, he accomplished 69% of his passes, averaged 8.8 yards per try and pushed his passer score 25 factors. He returns as doubtlessly the No. 1 quarterback prospect within the 2025 NFL Draft

Nonetheless, manufacturing from the red-zone offense was one space during which the Huge 12 champs struggled final season, rating ninetieth nationally in scoring share and one hundred and twentieth in landing share. Manning’s versatility might play an element in bettering these standings. 

Quarterback stays a tough nut to crack for high-profile staffs. Just one participant at a time takes the sector, which leaves high-profile gamers on the bench. In that means, compiling riches on the quarterback place has diminishing returns. Sarkisian, one of many preeminent quarterback gurus within the sport, can strive one other means. 

Use Manning as a speeding complement

Manning just isn’t a real dual-threat quarterback, preferring to deal from the pocket. Regardless, he boasts a extra dynamic athletic profile than his well-known uncles Peyton and Eli. 

“The factor about him that I feel most individuals in all probability do not give him sufficient credit score for, he’s a extremely good athlete,” Sarkisian advised reporters. “He is massive, he is sturdy and he is quick. Typically he’ll lean into utilizing his legs to create explosive performs … we like that, however we would like that to virtually be the final resort.” 

Manning was tracked at reaching a pace of 20 miles per hour in a scrimmage final August, Sarkisian stated. That is per Texas’ in-house monitoring analytics, and if it is near correct, would make Manning one of many quickest gamers on the whole staff (Xavier Worthy was tracked because the quickest participant in faculty soccer final fall at 22.7 MPH, per Reel Analytics). 

Throughout his time at Isidore Newman (Louisiana) Excessive Faculty, Manning hardly ever shied away from benefiting from defenders along with his legs. In 43 video games, Manning rushed for 1,155 yards and 25 touchdowns on 7.5 yards per carry. Towards Texas Tech, Manning had a 12-yard run in his 23 snaps of motion. 

Essentially the most profitable two-quarterback system in latest reminiscence featured Florida quarterbacks Chris Leak and five-star recruit Tim Tebow. Leak was a three-time All-SEC choice and former prime recruit, however the bulldozing Tebow entered the lineup for key packages and red-zone conditions. Tebow performed a key function in Florida’s 2006 nationwide championship, ending second on the staff in speeding makes an attempt (89) and yards (469) in addition to first in touchdowns (eight). Leak, for his half, nonetheless obtained loads of burn; his 23 passing touchdowns had been tied for twentieth nationally.

Texas has certainly one of faculty soccer’s finest working again teams and doesn’t want Manning to be Tebow in the best way Florida may need wanted Tebow. However Manning is already as much as 6-foot-4 and 220 kilos with room to develop throughout this summer season’s offseason coaching

“He isn’t usually referred to as a runner, however he has dimension and athleticism — that a part of his recreation should not be rapidly ignored,” stated 247Sports analyst Cooper Petagna, who scouted Manning in highschool. “He is in all probability not going to hunt contact within the open area, however he is gutsy. He has some nimbleness, too, from his days enjoying highschool basketball that counsel he could possibly be used situationally.” 

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If the Leak-Tebow timeshare is an excessive amount of for Sarkisian, then maybe Manning might play a task extra just like the one Michigan quarterback Alex Orji performed to JJ McCarthy in 2023. Orji usually took working snaps in the course of the sector, consuming up house. It was sufficient recreation motion to get him ready to be Michigan’s probably QB1 this fall (Texas and Michigan play in Week 2 in Ann Arbor, by the best way). 

Manning is a greater passer than Orji, too, and would give Sarkisian far more short-term arm upside to construct passing ideas and counters off — a possible game-changer in opposition to SEC defenses and past. 

Give Ewers some insurance coverage

Ewers ranks as a prime three returning quarterback in faculty soccer, however his profession has not at all times gone easily as he is struggled to remain on the sector. 

In 2022, Ewers took an enormous hit from Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner that knocked him out of a possible upset victory. Backup Hudson Card stepped into the beginning lineup for 3 video games. One yr later, Ewers suffered one other shoulder damage in opposition to Houston throughout a run. Maalik Murphy, who has since transferred to Duke, began two video games. 

After all, Manning can be ready within the wings if Ewers will get harm once more. Nonetheless, Texas has an excellent excuse to restrict Ewers’ snaps so he is contemporary for a possible School Soccer Playoff journey. 

The Longhorns’ schedule options just a few bangers however loads of fluff into the center. Colorado State, UTSA and Louisiana-Monroe needs to be blowouts. Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Mississippi State will probably miss bowls. That leaves six video games for Manning to play significant snaps and achieve reside ball expertise, and Texas ought to push him into the lineup as a lot as doable. Even beginning Manning in opposition to UTSA or ULM could possibly be an attention-grabbing alternative. A constructive efficiency might convey some exterior requires Manning to begin, however Sark can belief his mature quarterback room to close out the noise. 

An necessary caveat right here is that behind Ewers and Manning, Texas has only one different scholarship quarterback on the roster, true freshman Trey Owens. That is not uncommon within the switch portal period, but when Sarkisian had insurance coverage for Ewers and Manning, maybe he’d actually heat as much as going all-gas, no-brakes with our suggestion for Manning’s utilization. 

“As enjoyable as that may be simply to get him concerned within the recreation, I do not see Sark ever doing it,” Jeff Howe of Horns247 stated. “The run recreation is rarely going to be one thing he desires to return from his quarterbacks aside from extending the play and the occasional scramble. Plus, the mixture of Texas being so deep and gifted at working again and the truth that Quinn has but to make it by a full season wholesome makes the chance far higher than the reward with Arch, who’s very realistically one play away from being the man.

“Are you able to think about the criticism raining down on Sark if one thing occurred to Arch in a speciality package deal after which Quinn obtained harm?” Howe added. 

With probably the most well-known title in soccer, Manning had each excuse to show his profession right into a circus. As a substitute, his quiet, workmanlike method units the tone. In Manning’s Class of 2023, 5 of the highest eight gamers have already transferred. The opposite two — Tennessee‘s Nico Iamaleava and Oklahoma‘s Jackson Arnold — had been gifted beginning jobs heading into 12 months 2. Out of 9 quarterbacks within the Top247, none returns to their staff as a backup … besides Manning. 

Now, Sarkisian must take his best benefit and leverage it right into a nationwide championship chase. As the most effective offensive coaches within the sport, he should not have any scarcity of concepts. 



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