How much money did it take to convince Arch Manning to attend Texas?
“Zero,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said last week at a Touchdown Club of Houston event. “Everybody is under the assumption that this was an NIL deal for him to come to the University of Texas. It was absolutely not.”
“I wish I had my phone, I would read you the text I got from Cooper Manning after Arch called me out of the blue at about nine o’clock in the morning to say he was coming to the University of Texas,” Sarkisian added. “It had come down to us, Alabama and Georgia.
“In the end, his dad texted me and said, ‘If there’s a message to tell any of the other recruits you’re recruiting, it’s that Arch Manning is coming to Texas because he loves the University of Texas. He loves the coaches, and he loves the program. This is not about NIL.’”
The story of Manning’s recruitment has been one of significant interest — and not just because of his name.
As the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2023, Manning made headlines roughly a year ago by saying he was not going to participate in NIL in the lead up to his freshman season as a Longhorn in an attempt to avoid anyone insinuating he was induced during his process.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian says Arch Manning hasn’t taken any NIL money to play QB at Texas.— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 26, 2023
“It’s not about NIL. He’s taken zero money.” pic.twitter.com/9Jd0BXF449
Manning’s choice to not participate in NIL came as guidance from his grandfather, former NFL signal caller Archie, who said getting involved early on was a bad idea until he earned the starting job.
“The beauty of it for us, here’s the guy that has an NIL value of whatever it is, and this guy’s grandpa won’t let him take NIL money,” Sarkisian said. “He [Archie] said, ‘You can take NIL money when you become a player, when you start.’ So, that’s an interesting perspective from Archie.”
After early enrolling at Texas this spring, Manning completed his spring sessions for the Longhorns, logging largely second and third-team snaps during the team’s Orange-White game in April. As it stands, Manning is the team’s third option behind redshirt sophomore Quinn Ewers and redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy.
While the expectation is for Manning to quickly soar up the depth chart or redshirt in year one, Sarkisian said the first step is getting his acclimated to college and the NCAA game.
“Arch is just getting two feet on the ground in Austin, Texas, and getting acclimated to being in college,” Sarkisian said. “Here’s college offense. Here’s the speed of the game. How do you get acclimated to it?”