Has Arch Manning become a villain before ever playing a college snap?
That might be a stretch. But one recruiting analyst believes many people are rooting for the Texas commit to fail.
On the 247Sports "Preps to Pros" web show, recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins said there isn't another prospect in the country who gets nit-picked to the degree of Manning, the nephew of former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.
"I think there’s a lot of people that want Arch Manning to fail," Ivins said. "Is there a high schooler under more pressure in the class of 2023? He has a target on his back. He checks social media, everyone’s pointing out who he’s going up against."
Ivins defended Manning, who 247Sports has ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2023, saying he can't control the level of competition his Isidore Newman high school team plays. Newman is 5-1 this season.
"This guy’s doing what he’s supposed to," Ivins said. "I mean, if he goes 20 of 23 and three of them are drops, what do you want him to do? He’s playing the schedule that he has, and he’s producing, and he’s looking great doing it."
Ivins also pushed back on another supposed knock on Manning, that he doesn't display leadership. Ivins believes that's a misconception born from Manning's nonexistent social media presence and lack of interviews.
"I think a lot of people don’t realize that because Arch has been so reserved," Ivins said. "I mean, heck, he’s only made one tweet in his life, and that was announcing his commitment to Texas.”
Arch might be falling victim to some Manning fatigue among football fans. But he'll have his chance to prove he can live up to the family legacy when he takes the field for Texas next season.