In a rare discussion of the topic, Cooper Manning spoke with 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge this week about how he has been dealing with his highly sought after quarterback son Arch Manning’s college recruitment.
Arch, the nephew of former NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning, and grandson of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, has only completed one year of high school, but that hasn’t stopped colleges from expressing an interest in the young football prodigy.
It doesn’t hurt that Arch has already won the 2019 MaxPreps National High School Freshman Football Player Of The Year Award and started on the varsity at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans – something neither Eli nor Peyton accomplished. Or that he led Newman to a 9-2 record, making it to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, while passing for 2,407 yards, 34 touchdowns, and running for 6 more TDs… as a 14-year-old.
Despite all of the hoopla, however, so far Arch isn’t on social media, has never done an interview and isn’t accepting any scholarship offers.
“Arch, he loves football. He’s enjoying his friends and the workouts and growing. He’s kind of had a growth spurt here in the last couple months. Enjoying being in the weight room and throwing,” Cooper told Off The Bench with Culotta and T-Bob on Tuesday. “He just loves it. If it was me pressuring him to play or hurry up and get ready, it’s kind of always been, ‘Hey, can you come catch for me? Can we go throw? Can you feed me hoops?’ My boys are like that. Just makes it a lot easier as a parent.”
So far, at least according to 247Sports’ recruiting profile for Manning, there are five schools at the top of his list: Ole Miss, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee, and LSU.
Arch’s uncle and grandfather went to Ole Miss, and of course, Peyton attended Tennessee, but it sounds like Arch might be the first one of the quarterback bunch to end up staying in state.
“It’s funny. All my good friends locally in New Orleans are big LSU fans so they’ve been giving him a hard time for a long time about coming up to Baton Rouge,” Cooper revealed. “They’ve got a great program and Coach O has done unbelievable. Arch is friends with Walker Howard, just committed there. They’re good buddies for a long time and I know Jamie well. They’ve got it going right now, no question.”
“I’m still learning how it all works,” Cooper admitted, talking today’s recruiting process. “I know it starts meaningfully earlier than it ever did back when we were exposed to it. At this time, Peyton had probably not even gotten a letter yet. It’s a little early. That’s what we’ve been trying to do is just keep it normal because it can get away from you here. So we’re, as a family, just excited to our kids are playing and making friends and getting better and learning how to win and learning how to lose and enjoying bus rides and just kind of enjoy the whole experience and not getting caught up in the recruiting side too much.”
Cooper added that the ultimate decision on where he plays college football will be up to Arch, “We raise them to do what they want to do. They make decisions and we support them.”
One thing is for sure, regardless of where Arch Manning eventually ends up deciding to attend college, he’s probably going to be making some VERY serious cash.
Listen to the entire interview with Cooper Manning below…