Is Arch Manning To Virginia A Legitimate Possibly?
What does the crystal ball say?
The Arch Manning sweepstake are ON and a new team has emerged for the five star gunslinger. While it may be a long shot, the Virginia Cavaliers have entered the picture to land Peyton Mannings nephew. Arch has visited Texas, Georgia, Ole Miss, and is set to head to Tuscaloosa this month, but he took a surprise visit on Friday April 8th to Charlottesville and this has flipped the recruiting world on its head.
A Coaching Change At Virginia Ups The Ante
Clemson has been a team that has repeatedly been mentioned when Mannings recruitment has come up. One of the coaches that was heavily targeting the Isidore Newman quarterback was former Tigers offensive coordinator Tony Elliot. Elliot is no longer at Clemson as he was hired in December of 2021 by Virginia to replace Bronco Mendenhall at UVA as the Cavaliers head coach.
Let us not forget that the primary signal caller for Trevor Lawrence was Elliot. Elliot clearly made an impression on Arch if he's taking this visit at this point in the process when he has real playoff contenders like Alabama and Georgia hounding him.
The Bizarre, Yet Intriguing Factors
While Elliot being at UVA is a big sell and factor, there are other forces working to get Arch to Charlottesville. Mannings aunt Ashley, Peytons wife, is a Cavalier alum. AND his older sister May is currently a freshman at Virginia. May might have told her little bro about the night life and how the Cavaliers really get after it on the weekends; UVA was ranked the biggest party school in Virginia in 2022 by Niche. That'd be enough to sell me.
If you thought the nepotism ran deep with the Mannings and Virginia, I haven't even given the most important alum. Mannings mother Ellen is a graduate of Virginia. Could Mrs. Manning be pushing her baby boy to play at her alma mater? I know that when I was looking at colleges, I always wanted to make mom happy. I bet nothing would make Ellen happier than seeing Arch rock orange and navy blue at her old stomping grounds.
Social Medias Reaction Was...Mixed
When the news broke of this visit, everyone and their mother took to Twitter to voice their shock as well as their thoughts. Of course there were those who didn't understand the move. I was one of them. Virginia hasn't had a winning record since 2019 and since 2010 the Cavaliers have a record of 63-109; and their 1-3 in bowl games since 2010.
While some ridiculed and pooh-poohed the idea of Arch to UVA, others were skeptical in a good way. I mean if Elliot pulls this off then he makes an immediate splash as a first time head coach and could make the Cavaliers a dark horse National Title team.
Virginia football alum have even jumped into the Arch Manning mix to try and Eagles defensive end Chris Long who played for the Cavaliers offered Arch some pretty sweet incentives to play at Virginia on the Green Light Podcast.
Long offered Arch $500 to babysit his kids; not a bad side gig for a college kid. He also promised to name is next kid after Arch if he leads the the Cavaliers to the playoffs and said that he'd drink beers with his dad Cooper when he comes to visit campus so Arch can run around with coeds.
What Are The Odds?
With all of what I just named on the table, the real question on the table is how likely is is that Arch ends up at Virginia? In my opinion, I don't think very likely at all.
The Cavaliers haven't put a legit starting QB in the league since Matt Schaub in 2004. Alabama has Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jalen Hurts to show for. Clemson has Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence. Ole Miss has Matt Corral in this years draft, a potential first round selection and Georgia put Matt Stafford in the league in 2009. All teams interested in Arch that all have better track records with QBs than Virginia.
In addition, the NIL opportunities at the other schools interested are a lot larger than at Virginia. Alabamas Bryce Young has made north of a million dollars in Tuscaloosa with deals from BMW and Cash App. Clark Field Collective, an indirect direct affiliate to the Texas football program, has pledged 10 million dollars in NIL money to support athletes. UVA does not have deals of this magnitude set up through their program, another strike against the Cavaliers in the recruitment process.
As much as I'd love to see Manning at Virginia to cause chaos, I just don't see it.