The apple doesn’t fall far from the quarterback tree, at least in the case of Arch Manning, nephew of former NFL stars Peyton and Eli and grandson of Saints great Archie Manning. The 15-year-old prodigy got his close-up Thursday night, appearing in a nationally-televised primetime game on ESPN2.
Manning, whose father Cooper was recruited to play receiver at Ole Miss (alma mater of both Archie and Eli) before a spinal injury ended his career, did not disappoint on the national stage, flinging two touchdown passes while adding another two scores with his legs in Isodore Newman’s 55-22 rout of Booker T. Washington High School. Manning’s impressive performance included this Mahomes-ian fourth-quarter dime on third and five.
The 6’3” Manning, who is currently rated as the top quarterback and fifth-ranked player overall in the class of 2023, according to scouting site 247 Sports, completed 21-of-27 passes for 241 yards and two interceptions (including this overly ambitious throw into triple coverage) in the winning effort, improving Newman’s record to a perfect 3-0. Booker T. Washington has been a challenging opponent for Manning, who was intercepted four times when he faced them as a freshman in 2019 (h/t to SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell for that find). Manning is already ahead of uncles Peyton and Eli, neither of whom achieved starting status until their sophomore years. I also doubt any of their games were aired nationally on ESPN2.
Manning and the undefeated “Greenies” will host their next opponent, St. Thomas Aquinas, Friday, October 23 at Michael Lupin Field in New Orleans.