Arch Manning, the most heralded prospect of the modern era, ended his quiet recruiting process Thursday by announcing his oral commitment to Texas. Manning is the nephew of former NFL stars Peyton and Eli Manning and an elite quarterback out of New Orleans.
Commitments, of course, are non-binding, but this one seems pretty firm. The No. 1 recruit in the 2023 class is headed to the Longhorns.
And that will have some mixed impacts in Florida.
The Gators unsuccessfully pursued Manning. He told On3 last month that he has heard “a lot of good things” about first-year coach Billy Napier and was considering a visit to Gainesville. That didn’t happen.
The good news for UF, however, is that archrival Georgia didn’t get Manning, either. The Bulldogs were seen as one of the top contenders for him. Considering that quarterback has been one of the lone weaknesses (a relative term) for Georgia under Kirby Smart, adding Manning to his roster would have been a major blow to UF and the rest of the SEC East.
Manning will, however, be playing in the SEC eventually — perhaps against the Gators. Texas is set to join the conference for the 2025 season. Assuming that timeline doesn’t move up, Manning will be in his third college season when the Longhorns change leagues. It’s possible, then, that his future will include a game or two against the Gators. Uncle Peyton famously never beat Florida when he was at Tennessee, but Eli was 2-0 against UF during his Ole Miss tenure.
The Gators aren’t the only state team that could face Manning; UCF probably will, too. The Knights are moving to the Big 12 for the ‘23 season. That means UCF and Texas will likely spend two years together in that conference. Even if Manning doesn’t start as a true freshman, it’s reasonable to think he’ll be starting in ‘24 — maybe even in Orlando.
USF also would have been on Manning’s schedule, but that changed three years ago. In 2014, the Bulls and Longhorns had a two-for-one series that included a game in Austin in September 2024. Texas called off the agreement in ‘19.
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