You could easily argue that Arch Manning was born to play football, but given his family, that means he has the biggest of shoes to fill. You can’t just be a regular high school freshman as the grandson of Archie Manning, the son of Cooper Manning and the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, but Arch and his family are certainly trying their best to fly under the radar as best they can.
On top of simply being a Manning, it turns out he’s pretty good at throwing a football. He was the first freshman to ever start at Isidore Newman High School, the same school uncles Peyton and Eli didn’t start at until their sophomore seasons, and threw 34 touchdowns during the regular season. As a result, he was named MaxPreps National High School Freshman of The Year.
He’s also 6-foot-2 already and likely still growing, so it’s pretty easy to see why there is so much hype around this kid not set to graduate high school until 2023.
He also has zero scholarship offers, but that’s actually by design.
Ross Delenger recently did a long-form story about Arch for Sports Illustrated and broke down the entire situation. Simply put, he and his family are taking an old-school approach, which is pretty refreshing in a social media dominated world where all you hear about are these insanely young kids getting scholarship offers before they even have a driver’s permit these days.
In fact, Arch isn’t even on social media, which perhaps makes him the only kid in America that can say that.
Arch is not on social media, and he’s never done an interview. Except for a few benign comments, the usually accessible Mannings declined to speak about Arch for this story or to make him available. “They’re very private and protective of Arch,” says John Georges, a New Orleans businessman who owns the state’s two largest newspapers. “As much as they try to keep a lid on it, there’s a buzz. Certain people know how to raise thoroughbreds. The Mannings know how to raise athletes.”
Coaches, somehow someway, are still going to get in contact with Arch and his family, but even LSU’s Ed Orgeron couldn’t completely break through the barrier that he and his family have created.
Similarly, college coaches continue to try to find ways around the Mannings’ recruiting embargo. Take last summer, when Arch and his high school team won a seven-on-seven tournament on LSU’s campus. Tigers coach Ed Orgeron and his offensive staff spent much of the event schmoozing the Manning family. “It was unlike anything I’ve witnessed at a seven-on-seven tournament,” says Shea Dixon, a 247Sports recruiting reporter covering LSU and Louisiana. “I haven’t seen LSU coaches put that attention on a senior, let alone a kid who just finished eighth grade.”
The Tigers planned to offer Arch a scholarship, Dixon says, before they learned the likely reply: There is no offer to give because there is no offer to receive. Several college coaches, who asked not to be named, call the Mannings’ method “refreshing” in an era when 15-year-olds use social media to advertise offers that can’t be executed for another three years
Maybe you read this and immediately want to label Manning’s family helicopter parents that are being way too overprotective here, but at the end of the day, he’s just a 15-year-old kid with three and a half years of high school left to live.
It’s become the norm for most of the top high school athletes to commit to schools as early as their sophomore and junior years, but Arch and his family are taking a different approach. Hats off to them for sticking to their ways.