Another member of the Manning family has joined the college football ranks.
Freshman quarterback Arch Manning from New Orleans participated in his first practice for the Texas Longhorns on Monday.
Manning took the field wearing the white and orange Texas helmet and black No.16 jersey as he participated in drills, and media members present took their pictures and videos.
The expectations will be high for the freshman as the grandson of the great Archie Manning, the nephew of NFL Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli, and the latest in a family of quarterback royalty.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian is working to temper those expectations in year one but says the freshman has already had his moments.
“For Arch today, Day 1, there’s some plays for sure he’d love to have back,” Sarkisian told media members after Monday’s practice. “And there’s some plays that he made [where] I think everybody was like, ‘Wow, that was a heck of a play.”
“Again, true freshman; should still be in high school,” the coach continued. “But, he brings definitely a worker’s mentality, and he wants to be really good at this game.”
Manning, the No.1 recruit in the class of 2023, chose the Longhorns over teams like Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, and many others. He joins the team as an early enrollee, trying to put himself in the best position to see the field.
Texas already has Quinn Ewers, who was a heralded recruit and played well as a freshman last season, on the roster, and Sarkisian has been impressed with his improvements.
“I thought Quinn had a really good winter,” Sarkisian said. “He was essentially a true freshman this time last year for us, and so there’s a lot on his mind.”
“It’s like when the gears are moving, but there’s no WD-40 in there,” he continued. “The gears were grinding. It felt that way for him pretty much all year long. This winter, it just feels natural. He’s throwing the ball well, and I think he’s emerging as a leader.”
“He’s serving [as an example] for Arch, ‘Hey, this is what it looks like, and this is how to go about your business.”
While it may seem like Ewers should have a firm grip on the starting job entering the season, Sarkisian is not yet declaring anyone on the roster a starter.
“They’re all open right now,” Sarkisian remarked when asked about the potential competition on his roster. “I’m not worried about who’s going to be on the cover of what magazine next week. I’m more focused on ‘Is each guy focusing on what they need to do to develop to be the best player they need to be?'”
“Quinn has an entire year of a head start, but I don’t want to hold Arch back. I want to see how far he can take this thing and what it can look like.”
“It’s like anything. There’s growing pains,” Sarkisian added. “He’s a freshman in college, but he does take it serious[ly], and he wants to be good. The beauty of it [is] one of the guys he’s competing with is also taking it serious[ly] and wants to be good.”
“That competition should ultimately drive the best out of both of them, and that’s what we’re trying to create in our program at every position group. Because, when you have that, that’s when your level of play continually goes up, and up, and up.”