When the news broke about Arch Manning committing to the Texas Longhorns, fans of the long-suffering program had good reason to celebrate. However, they also now have a potential problem on their hands.
What if Quinn Ewers is as good as advertised? Texas will have to keep him in the lineup. If the Longhorns do, what about Manning?
Will Manning still come to Texas knowing he’ll sit on the bench for at least a year? Or will he take his considerable talents somewhere he can play from Day One?
It’s a problem, but most would call it a good problem. Better to have two superstar quarterbacks than none, right? With images of this Manning playing as well or better than his famous family, or Ewers dominating the competition in the Big 12, some may have dared to utter those infamous words:
I will not tweet the video of Sam Ehlinger saying “We’re back”
Ok maybe I willpic.twitter.com/nlJBspIr33
— Jack Susanin (@SusaninSports) October 3, 2020
As tempting as it must be for Texas fans to say those two little words, most have learned their lesson. Yes, the future is so bright you almost have to wear shades, but the sun isn’t even out yet.
Manning is far from a lock to put on the burnt orange. Yes, he has committed to the program, but a verbal commitment (for now) is not binding. Players change their minds and reopen their recruitment all the time.
But why would he do such a thing? Easy – he wants to play.
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Quinn Ewers Could Be a Problem
Manning’s pedigree alone will be enough for some fans to forget about Ewers before he plays a single snap for the Longhorns. If Manning is anything like his relatives, then Texas would be smart to get him on the field right away.
However, Ewers was as highly regarded coming out of high school as Manning (No. 1 QB, No. 1 recruit, 5-star, and 1.000 composite score at 24/7 sports). If he ends up being as good as advertised, the Longhorns will finally have a play-making superstar behind center – something Texas has not had for some time. He’ll be the kind of quarterback you let play until the day he gets drafted into the NFL.
Manning on the Bench?
However, that will mean keeping Manning on the bench. No big deal. right? So, he redshirts during his first season with the team, Ewers leaves for the NFL a year later, and he starts the following season as a redshirt freshman. That seems like a logical scenario, but it assumes one thing – Manning will be okay with not playing for a year.
Manning was named the varsity starter at his high school as a freshman. Who wants to go from starting every game for the last four years to sitting on the bench? No one does, but might he be okay with it? Maybe. Since he does not have a social media presence and doesn’t do interviews, it is hard to say just how important playing is to him.
Recruits Could Follow Manning
If he is not going to play right away and decides to go elsewhere, what about the recruits that committed after Manning? Will they stay or will they decide to look elsewhere? If they are intent on playing with Manning, the chances are real many could follow him to a different school.
Of course, none of this speculation matters if Ewers struggles. If he plays poorly, the job will be Manning’s before Ewers can re-enter the transfer portal.
But if Ewers has a fantastic season…fans in Texas may not want to bet on Manning coming to Austin.
AP Photo/Ted Jackson