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Arch Manning: How college football’s past 20 top QB recruits have fared

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Ark Manning’s Commitment to Texas it is certainly a major recruiting victory for the Longhorns as they attempt to rebuild their proud but underperforming football program. Manning will be assisting other recruits in his class of 2023 and beyond, and he builds confidence in coach Steve Sarkisian after terrible rookie season.

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But what his impact on the pitch will be is even more nebulous. Yes, he is the best quarterback in his class, he has two uncles who each won a couple of Super Bowls, and a grandfather who was one of the greatest players in SEC history. None of this guarantees success and does not make him the savior of the Texas program or the future number 1 in the NFL draft.

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Look no further than Chris Simms’ career in Texas. An equally well-known prospect who was the son of a Super Bowl MVP, he never found a footing in the Longhorns and failed to make his mark in their biggest games.

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In the Arch Manning situation, there is a wide range of achievements among the players. What is the likelihood that he will justify the high hopes placed on him? History can help us look at the top ranked quarterbacks in the last 20 recruiting classes and how their careers have evolved. (Ranking based on 247 sports reports for each season). One thing worth noting is that eight of the group have moved on and six have been selected in the first round so far.

Vince Young Texas (2002)

Texas quarterback Vince Young hopes to pass to Kansas in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas.
Texas quarterback Vince Young hopes to pass to Kansas in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas.

The Houston native was one of the most dynamic players during his three seasons with the Longhorns. He led the team to the national championship in 2005 and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting. He was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the 2006 Draft, but his NFL career ended after six seasons.

Kyle Wright, Miami (FL) (2003)

Considered the successor to the talented Hurricanes quarterbacks that came before him, Wright never lived up to those expectations, throwing just 38 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He left without being drafted in 2008.

Rhett Bomar, Oklahoma (2004)

Bomar began his first redshirt season in 2005 and showed promise by winning the Holiday Bowl MVP title. However, he was kicked off the team during the off-season due to his involvement in violations of NCAA rules. Bomar moved to the Sam Houston staff and was selected by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, spending most of the next two years on the team’s training roster. He was signed by the Minnesota Vikings and later by the Oakland Raiders, but he never made a pass in the NFL.

Mark Sanchez, Southern California (2005)

Sanchez did not become a regular starter for the Trojans until his fourth season and led the team to the Rose Bowl with 34 touchdowns. He entered the NFL Draft with one year left of eligibility and was selected with the fifth pick in the first round by the New York Jets. He led the Jets to two AFC Championship games before his career stalled. His last appearance was in 2018.

Matthew Stafford, Georgia (2006)

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford celebrates receiving the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford celebrates receiving the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

Stafford took over the starting job with the Bulldogs at the start of his first season and did not turn it down until he left after his freshman year. Georgia was successful during his time there, but the team failed to play in an SEC title game before the Detroit Lions made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. In his first season with the Los Angeles Rams in 2021, he led the team to a Super Bowl victory.

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame (2007)

When Clausen arrived in a limousine at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana, for the announcement of his engagement, Clausen was scrutinized from the start. Clausen wasn’t the talent of the generation that his hype suggested, but he spent three years as a starter for the Fighting Irish with 53 touchdowns in the past two seasons, although the team struggled. He was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and was forced to start 10 games of his rookie season, winning just one. He last played in 2015.

Terrell Pryor, Ohio State (2008)

Pryor took over the starting job at the Buckeyes as a freshman and led them to a Big Ten title as a sophomore. His career was cut short in 2010 when he was implicated in an NCAA violation and suspended from team bowl play. Pryor was selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Additional Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He started 10 games for the Raiders in his four years with the team and eventually switched to wide receiver. He last played in 2018.

Matt Barkley Southern California (2009)

Barkley, another player with high expectations, replaced Sanchez in the Trojans’ starting lineup, winning the job as a true rookie. He spent two seasons with USC on probation, but in his senior year, USC finished first in the preseason and was considered Heisman’s favorite. However, the team lost five games and Barkley was drafted into the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played in the NFL with several teams and recently signed with the Buffalo Bills.

Philip Sims, Alabama (2010)

This year, the recruiting class lacked elite talent for the position, making Sims one of the lowest-ranked quarterbacks in the past quarter century. Sims was A.J. McCarron’s understudy for two seasons before moving home to Virginia. He played in 12 games for the Cavaliers in 2012 and then moved to Winston-Salem State after becoming ineligible. In 2015, he was not called up.

Jeff Driskel, Florida (2011)

Driskel played four seasons with the Gators and his bright spot came in 2012 when he led the team to 11 wins and the Sugar Bowl despite only throwing 12 touchdowns. He was injured and lost the season the following year in the third game. After losing his job in 2014, he moved to Louisiana Tech and was eventually selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Driskel started five games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018 and one for the Detroit Lions the following year. He is currently a member of the Houston Texans.

Jamis Winston, Florida State (2012)

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston holds the Coaches Trophy after the 2014 BCS National Championship game against the Auburn Tigers.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston holds the Coaches Trophy after the 2014 BCS National Championship game against the Auburn Tigers.

The only quarterback on this list to win a national title and the Heisman Trophy, Winston redshirted in his first season before winning his first 26 games as a starter. The first 14 came in his original campaign, in which he threw 40 touchdowns as the Seminoles beat Auburn in the BCS title game. They will advance to the college football playoffs next year. Winston then left as he was selected first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played five seasons with the Bucks before moving to the New Orleans Saints, where he spent the last two seasons.

Max Brown, Southern California (2013)

Brown, the Trojans’ third signing on this list, was a bench in his first three seasons. After winning the starter in 2016, a poor opening game against Alabama led to him being replaced by Sam Darnold. Brown left for Pittsburgh the following season and played five games as a starter before suffering a season-ending injury. He wasn’t drafted.

Kyle Allen, Texas A&M (2014)

Allen shared the starting freshman role and then won the job the following season. He was eventually replaced by Kyler Murray after mid-season problems and moved to Houston after the season. Allen missed the season in 2016 and lost his starting job at the start of the following season, then decided to enter the NFL Draft. He signed with the Carolina Panthers after not being drafted. He played two seasons with the Panthers and two more seasons with the Washingtons before signing with the Houston during the off-season.

Josh Rosen, UCLA (2015)

Rosen was considered an unmissable prospect after his high-profile high school career, and he performed well in his freshman season, throwing 23 touchdowns and leading the Bruins to eight wins. He suffered an injury midway through his second season and was entered for the NFL Draft after his freshman year. A first-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, he started 13 games in his rookie season before being traded to the Miami Dolphins. He also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and Atlanta Falcons over four seasons.

Shea Patterson, Mississippi (2016)

Patterson planned to redshirt for his first season, but was forced into action late in the campaign due to injury. His strong performances in those last three games provided optimism for the next season, but Ole Miss was placed on probation and coach Hugh Freese was fired. Patterson was injured midway through the year and moved to Michigan. He played well for the Wolverines, throwing 45 touchdowns in those two seasons, but was not drafted in 2020. He has since played in the Canadian Football League and the USFL.

Davis Mills, Stanford (2017)

Mills became a starter for the Cardinals after suffering an injury in his third season. The pandemic limited him to five games in 2020 and he entered the NFL Draft in 2021. Houston, Texas drafted him in the third round and he started 11 games last year. Despite winning just two games, he broke the team record for rookie passing yards and is expected to be a starter this season.

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (2018)

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence throws Jets' Javelin Guidry under pressure.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence throws Jets’ Javelin Guidry under pressure.

As expected of Manning, Lawrence was the universally recognized No. 1 player in his recruiting class. He lived up to those predictions when he started as a starter at the start of his first season and led the Tigers to the national title. After that, Clemson twice participated in the college football playoffs, and then Lawrence entered the NFL …


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