Tennessee football: It’s time to start talking about Arch Manning

The nephew of Tennessee football Volunteers legend Peyton Manning is making a name for himself.

With Tennessee football taking the weekend off due to COVID-19 complications, let’s shift our focus from today’s team to what could be a Vol of the future. Just a Sophomore at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, La. 15-year old Arch Manning is already one of the more talked about high school football prospects in the country.

Nephew to UT legend Peyton Manning, Arch Manning has been turning heads for some time now. In 2019, he was named Freshman of the Year by MaxPreps after throwing for 2,407 yards and 34 touchdowns while leading Isidore Newman High School to a 9-2 record.

This season, Manning has started all seven games for the Greenies, propelling them to a now 7-0 record after their 76-0 demolition of Cohen College Prep on Friday night. Manning played just one quarter, needing nine completions on 11 attempts to compile 169 yards and five touchdowns.

In an Oct. 15 nationally televised game on ESPN, Manning threw for 241 yards on 21 completions and added three total touchdowns. He led the Greenies to a 55-22 win over Booker T Washington High School.

Ranked as the top quarterback and No. 5 overall player in 247 Sports 2023 class rankings, albeit very early, Manning already holds offers from the Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, Duke Blue Devils and Ole Miss Rebels. He also holds one from Tennessee football.

Arch’s father, Cooper, his uncle Eli, and his grandfather Archie all played for the Ole Miss Rebels. With what looks like Lane Kiffin as their coach and recruiter for the future, the relationship between Manning and Ole Miss will be something to behold.

On the other hand, the best quarterback in the family broke the mold and made a legacy for himself in Knoxville. Could Arch follow in his uncle Peyton’s footsteps? At this point, it’s way too early to call.

For Manning, who currently holds nine offers, college recruitment is only just beginning. To put in perspective just how young the newest Manning prodigy is, UT’s prized freshman signal-caller Harrison Bailey would be a senior by the time Arch plays college ball.

Because of how good he already is, his last name, and Tennessee football’s search for a serious program leading quarterback since Josh Dobbs, Arch Manning will be a player to watch until the day he signs. UT will have to do a better job developing quarterbacks in the near future if they want a shot at the highly touted phenom.