The Clemson staff will roll out the orange carpet next month when they welcome a blue-chip recruit with a very familiar last name to campus for the first time.
Five-star Arch Manning, the nation’s top-ranked 2023 quarterback, is planning to visit Clemson with his family for the Dabo Swinney Camp in June.
Swinney and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter have already formed a bond with Manning, who is excited to get on campus and meet the coaches in person according to his head coach at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Nelson Stewart.
“I think that when it comes to Clemson, all the things that resonate with him are well known for any student-athlete,” Stewart said to The Clemson Insider. “He’s built a great relationship with Coach Streeter. He’s been able to connect with Coach Swinney. I think they have a great culture. Their program speaks for itself. Just a great program, and it’s an opportunity for him to really get out and meet people.
“Right now, he’s still very young, forming relationships, and I think it’s going to be a great experience for him and his family to just visit a great school and program, and I know he’s awful excited.”
Manning, of course, has extremely strong bloodlines as the grandson of former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Archie Manning, son of Cooper Manning and nephew of former NFL signal-callers Peyton and Eli Manning.
Stewart, who has known the Manning family for years, played with both Peyton and Cooper during their days as athletes at Isidore Newman and has coached Arch since he began playing football in the sixth grade.
“He’s really hard to sum up,” Stewart said of Arch. “He’s really his own entity. I think with Arch – I think Archie said it – everybody wants to compare him to one Manning, and you really can’t. He’s a little of everything.”
Arch stands at 6-foot-4, weighs around 210 pounds and may run a 4.5 or 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, per Stewart. An all-around athlete, he’s a high jumper and plays basketball as well. On the gridiron as a sophomore last season, he completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,643 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading his team to the state semifinals.
Although Arch is listed as a pro-style quarterback by the major recruiting services, that label doesn’t adequately describe the type of skillset and athleticism he is gifted with.
“You’re able to do a lot of things with him. He’s not just a pro guy, per say,” Stewart said. “He runs spread and RPO, he can drop-back pass. Then you go to the next entity – he takes great pride in quarterback play. His mechanics, his play fakes, his film study … Those guys that are those high-level quarterbacks that really pay attention to detail and have a love for football, he’s got it. He’s a natural leader. He has that in him. He’s a competitor at the highest level in everything that he does. He loves to compete. His favorite part of practice outside of his positional drills are just competition drills.
“So, you balance all that out with that one intangible, that being his ability to extend plays and make those throws that many can’t. How fast he can reset his feet, throw across his body – although you don’t teach it, he can do it. He’s that rare entity that can do all those things from a throwing standpoint, that that’s where the natural talent comes in.”
Add in Arch’s high character, and he checks all the boxes that any program can possibly look for in a quarterback prospect.
“He is not about himself,” Stewart said. “He doesn’t focus on individual accolades. He’s all about the team and trying to win a championship. He’s a really, really special football player.”
Arch and his family are looking forward to seeing as many schools as possible this summer after not being able to take visits for more than a year due to COVID-19 and the NCAA dead period that was implemented due to the pandemic.
Along with Clemson, the Manning family is planning to travel to the likes of Texas, Georgia and Alabama in June and also looking at potential trips to schools such as Southern Cal, Stanford, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
“As he goes through his visits, I think that’s what it’s all about with him is he’s going to be with his family and, again, continue to form relationships and meet these coaches,” Stewart said. “He’s really got his eyes wide open and he’s still taking it all in and he’s just processing everything.”
As for when Arch might make his college commitment, Stewart doesn’t think his star QB has a timeline in mind for his decision.
“I know this, he’s not in any hurry to do it,” Stewart said. “I think for him, he’d like to have met a number of schools going (into his junior season), and then I think after, get through the season and spring and look at things and where it is. I think when he knows, he’ll know. It’s going to be a real authentic decision that I think will have a lot of thought into it but will be a natural fit. And I think in the end, it’s really going to be about the fit, the relationships, the trust and really just what’s best for him in his journey.”
Arch is the No. 1 quarterback and No. 3 overall prospect in the 2023 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
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