When he arrived in Austin, there was a rightful buzz around his presence.
Something simple like a lost ID in his first week went viral on Twitter. So, it was no surprise when a video surfaced of him throwing a dime at the Texas practice facility, the internet lost their minds.
But it's time to pump the breaks.
As one of the top quarterback prospects in recent years, Manning had the choice to play his college ball wherever he pleased. And he chose a program with a bona fide starting quarterback.
And there was a reason for this.
When Manning committed to Texas, former 5-star recruit Quinn Ewers had already announced his decision to transfer to the Forty Acres.
Quinn Ewers played very well throughout the 2022 season. He beat out Hudson Card for the starting job and showed glimpses of his potential in a Bijan Robinson-led offense.
There's no doubt he instilled faith that he could lead the Longhorns in 2023.
Despite this, Arch Manning decided not to de-commit, but rather stay the course and head to Austin.
Again, there was a reason behind this.
There is no rush from Arch Manning or his team to be thrust into the spotlight. If that were the case, he would have gone elsewhere.
Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and LSU are all huge programs that are without a sure-fire quarterback for the 2023 season. Manning would have a better chance to start week one at any of those schools.
Manning and his team will be content on taking a developmental year. Possibly even a redshirt year.
And for all those people who say that Manning didn't go to Texas to ride the bench… Here's exactly why he will do that next season.
Quite simply, Quinn Ewers is a better quarterback right now.
This isn't a battle of a wily veteran vs a young star. Ewers has the potential to lead Texas to big heights in his own right. He is a very, very capable quarterback.
And this will fit the Manning team just fine because something big happens for Texas in 2024… The SEC.
With Ewers starting this year, Manning will have no expectations on Saturdays.
He will get to spend his time learning the ins and outs of the team, settling into college life, getting his academics in order, and gearing up for SEC play.
There is such a thing as playing too early. We've seen very talented players getting spoiled because they were thrust into the spotlight too early. Of course, Arch Manning is a different level of talent, but why risk it?
Manning may not even be the second-best quarterback on this team… right now.
Maalik Murphy is a gifted quarterback in his own right. Entering his second year in the program he could easily be selected as the number two quarterback behind Ewers.
None of this is a knock on Manning.
He will undoubtedly get his chance to be the quarterback of this team. And it would seem he and the Longhorns would prefer that time to come in SEC play.
Texas will always have championship expectations. And the arrival of Arch Manning did nothing but elevate those expectations.
The Longhorns cannot drop the ball on this. They cannot mess this opportunity up. And the safest way to do that, for now, is to keep Manning off the field.