Texas Longhorns Sports

ESPN Defends Arch Manning After Spring Game Performance

Arch Manning failed to live up to the hype of his five-star billing in the first spring game of his career as a Texas Longhorn.

Tied with Quinn Ewers and Vince Young as the top quarterback prospects to ever come out of high school, Manning had impossible expectations to live up to when he became the future at Texas.

After completing five of 13 for 30 yards in his first appearance in Burnt Orange, message boards across the nation lit up with pokes and prods at Manning’s first live-action inside DKR, and rightly so.

 

Manning was touted as the next coming of, well, Peyton Manning, and he didn’t give us anything to indicate that was the case.

However, ESPN was quick to jump to Arch’s aid when things started to get a little rocky for their new favorite freshman.

“Manning was often playing with backups and several other freshmen, and only coach Steve Sarkisian knows the plan for what he hoped to show off in the spring game,” ESPN’s Dave Wilson wrote. “Manning spent most of the day on the move: On his 20 dropbacks, he was sacked four times (including three times on his last drive), scrambled three times for 15 yards and was hurried three more times on the 13 occasions in which he actually got rid of the ball. 

“(Quinn) Ewers was sacked three times, but on 27 dropbacks with zero hurries, and (Maalik) Murphy wasn’t sacked or hurried. The freshman could take his lumps, but there’s not much to judge off this one performance, until he gets to play with the line and receivers his counterparts do.”

 

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian says that he liked some of the things he saw from Manning and notes that he’s got plenty of time to improve his craft at the college level.

“I thought it was good,” Sarkisian said of Manning’s spring game. “His first play was a pass. He threw a completion, kinda get the jitters out. I’m sure there’s still some. This I think is just his second series so far. He’s got a lot more series in his career to go. I thought he made a good decision there on first down to tuck it and get positive yards.”

To be fair, Arch Manning should still be in high school but enrolled early at Texas so he could jump-start his college football career. It’s still too early to call him a bust, but early indications suggest that he’s got quite a ways to go before he’s ready to be a difference-maker in Austin.

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