Texas hooked its biggest recruit of the Steve Sarkisian era when quarterback Arch Manning, the No. 2 overall prospect in the ESPN 300, signed with the Longhorns on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound star from Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans is the nephew of Eli and Peyton Manning. His father, Cooper Manning, played wide receiver at Ole Miss.
At Newman, Arch Manning was a four-year starter, throwing for 8,599 yards and 115 touchdowns with 20 interceptions while rushing for 1,155 yards and 25 TDs. He broke Eli's school record for passing yards (7,268) and Peyton's for TDs (93).
"Signing Arch Manning was big on a lot of fronts," Sarkisian said Wednesday afternoon. "He's extremely gifted. He's got all the attributes needed to be a good quarterback. He's 6-4, 225, he's got a great arm. He's a good athlete. He's got really good fundamentals. There's not a throw he can't make. He's got the desire, the competitiveness, the work ethic needed to be great at the position."
Sarkisian said he'd been recruiting Manning, who will be an early enrollee arriving in January, for nearly four years, dating back to Alabama, and continued with a consistent approach at Texas.
"When he committed to us, it was actually a little earlier than we were anticipating in the process in the summer," Sarkisian said, laughing. "But we took it, we were excited about it. I think there was a direct impact on the rest of the class."
He said he was impressed in dealing with all the Mannings, mentioning talking to grandparents and uncles as well.
"Remove the name off the back of their jersey, the Manning name. They're just like any other family that wants what's best for him," he said. "It's not about his name. It's about who he is innately inside. Fired up to get him here in a couple of weeks and get to work."
The Longhorns have had three different quarterbacks -- Casey Thompson, Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card -- start games in the past two seasons.
Ewers, the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2021 ESPN 300 before signing with Ohio State and transferring to Texas last season, held down the job for most of 2022 (he missed three games with a shoulder injury). He threw for 1,808 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions in nine starts and struggled at times -- including a 41-34 loss to Oklahoma State in which he threw three interceptions -- and completed just 48.1% of his passes against AP Top 25 teams.
Manning will get an opportunity to compete for the job. Sarkisian said earlier this season that he likes to "wipe the slate clean" every year in a quarterback competition.
"We make it very clear to everybody in our team meeting room that the best players are going to play that give us the best opportunity to be successful as a team," Sarkisian told the Longhorn Network on Wednesday. "That should be motivating to everybody that there's always that opportunity to prove yourself and find your way onto the field."