Arch Manning, the nephew of Peyton and Eli, has long been considered the top high school prospect in the 2023 recruiting class according to ESPN. That is no longer the case as the recruiting service has moved Manning to No. 2, behind five-star USC Trojans commit Malaki Nelson.
Nelson had long been the No. 2 overall prospect in the class, but ESPN recently upgraded him to the top spot over Manning, citing a larger sample size, his physical development, and the level of competition he plays at the high school level.
“With Nelson, we have seen a larger sample size, and the 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback has faced a higher level of competition for Los Alamitos High School (California),” ESPN said of its ranking decision. “He has also developed physically, which has lead to more arm velocity. In our multiple in-person evaluations this spring and summer, our biggest observation from Nelson has been the growth beyond physical maturity as we see a more seasoned leader. His abilities in game, as well as his performances at camps and combines, make us confident he is now the No. 1 quarterback in the class.”
It’s worth noting that Manning, who recently committed to Steve Sarkisian the Texas Longhorns is still ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by every other major recruiting service – 247Sports, On3, and Rivals.
Regardless of their rank, it’s clear that every recruiting service believes both Nelson and Manning to be elite quarterbacks at the next level.