Arch Manning Apr 15, 2023; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Arch Manning (16) warms up before the Texas Spring Game at DKR- Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Seems everyone has an opinion on what to expect from Texas Longhorns freshman quarterback Arch Manning.

Kirk Herbstreit’s opinion counts more than most. The veteran ESPN college football analyst has watched as many fans have ripped the young quarterback after a tough outing in the Longhorns spring game in April. The No. 1 overall college prospect in the class of 2023, with a family tree that includes three star NFL quarterbacks, Manning arrived at Texas with an aura of invincibility.

Yet he’s still just a freshman. Herbstreit told this week that Manning faced unrealistic expectations from anyone who thought he would come right in and take the starting job from Quinn Ewers.

“He’s been on campus for a few weeks and we’re going to sit there and have definitive comments about who he is,” Herbstreit said. “I wasn’t surprised. It’s the world we’re in. What’s the latest name? Quinn Ewers was the most anticipated brand name to come out of high school football in forever.

“And then all of a sudden, here comes Arch Manning. ‘What about Arch?’ ‘Well, the guy you just threw to the side is supposed to be really good.’”

Herbstreit remains extremely high on Manning’s future, but he said the Longhorns belong to Ewers right now. The former Texas prep star, the No. 3 overall prep recruit in 2021, transferred to the Longhorns last season after playing a backup role for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ewers played well last season, and Herbstreit expects big things in 2023.

“There were some ups but there were some downs and he had to endure that,” Herbstreit said. “What you see now, even though he’s only in his first year being done, is a guy that’s been through it, and I think it allows him to play at a different level of maturity.”

“Arch probably has a really bright future but for me, right now, it’s Quinn Ewers’ chance. It’s his opportunity, it’s his team, and until he leaves, I think that will be the case. Then we’ll see what Arch can do down the road.”


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.