New leader emerges for Arch Manning ahead of visits to Alabama, Texas

Arch Manning, Texas Longhorns. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Arch Manning, Texas Longhorns. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

A new leader has emerged in the Arch Manning sweepstakes ahead of his third visits to Texas and Alabama this spring.

It has been a while since Texas football won anything, but they are the new leader when it comes to the Arch Manning sweepstakes.

The On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine has the five-star quarterback in the Class of 2023 projected to Texas. It has the Longhorns at a 39.6 percent chance to get him, followed by Alabama at 33. 1 percent, Georgia at 18.5 percent and Ole Mis at 4.3 percent. Though other schools have been in the mix for him throughout his recruiting process, he will be joining one of these programs.

Manning has long had an affinity for Texas, but this is far and away the worst of the four situations he could be going to. Joking aside, should his proud football family intervene to save him from himself?

Texas football appears as the leader for Arch Manning’s five-star commitment

It should be noted that 247Sports has not made a single prediction on where Manning will end up other than he is looking hard at the four schools listed above. Manning is an Ole Miss legacy by way of his grandfather, his father and one of his Super Bowl-winning uncles. He visited Georgia for a third time last weekend, is visiting Texas this weekend and will visit Alabama next weekend.

Manning has long had a strong connection to Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian from his days as the former Alabama offensive coordinator. Longhorns quarterbacks coach A.J. Milwee is serving as his primary recruiter to Austin with cornerbacks coach Terry Joseph backing him up. Though Texas is a huge brand, the Longhorns are in for a rude awakening once they join the SEC in a few years.

This is the one school that has not made any sense to land Manning. Ole Miss may be his family’s homestead, but the Rebels just won 10 games and played in the Sugar Bowl. As for Alabama and Georgia, they won their respective SEC divisions and met for a rematch in the College Football Playoff National Championship with the Dawgs finally having their day over the Crimson Tide.

Manning’s primary recruiter to Ole Miss was Jeff Lebby, who now takes over the Oklahoma Sooners offense. Georgia losing offensive line coach Matt Luke to retirement hurts, but Uncle Peyton competed against Kirby Smart in the SEC East back in the day. Plus, they were very briefly teammates on the late ’90s Indianapolis Colts. And of course, Nick Saban is still in Tuscaloosa.

Meanwhile, Texas went 4-8 in Sarkisian’s first season at the helm. The Longhorns were a dysfunctional mess, marred by a terrible defense and Halloween monkey business. No, they are not going to be down forever, but they are going to be closer to Auburn than they are to Alabama or Georgia in the soon-to-be 16-team SEC. Plus, Texas already has Quinn Ewers in the program.

Unless Ewers is the next Tate Martell, Manning will not be getting playing time right away in Austin. The transfer portal may be en vogue these days, but it would be such a bad look optically if a Manning had to switch teams because he did not get to start until he was a junior. This is why Ole Miss is so interesting, regardless of how the Mannings feel about the head coach, Lane Kiffin.

If Manning wants to start as a freshman or a redshirt freshman, Ole Miss is the best spot for that. If he wants to win a national championship or a Heisman Trophy, two things no Manning has ever done, Alabama and Georgia are programs more likely to make that happen than not. Again, this is his choice, but Texas is the one program not in a good spot right now and could be a total disaster.

Should Manning want to be the one to bring Texas back, then, by all means, Hook ‘Em Horns, baby!

Next. Best all-time college football QB's from every state. dark

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.