By RJ Younger
FOX Sports activities School Soccer Author
Final September, Nick Saban joined Peyton and Eli Manning for a chat throughout Monday Night time Soccer. Whereas watching former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts play in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys, Saban took the chance to make a refined recruiting pitch on air.
“I want I used to be teaching at Alabama when Peyton and Eli Manning had been recruits, so that you guys may’ve performed for the Tide,” Saban mentioned. “I’d love to teach a member of the Manning household.”
For anybody who has been residing below a rock, Peyton and Eli are uncles to New Orleans highschool quarterback Arch Manning, the No. 1 participant within the class of 2023 and probably the most prized recruit of the previous two recruiting cycles.
Manning is taking an official go to to Alabama this weekend after visiting Georgia final week. He’ll go to Texas subsequent weekend for his ultimate official go to of the month.
Manning has the talents Saban has come to covet within the latter half of his tenure at Alabama: He’s correct, cellular, clever and humble. It additionally bears mentioning that Arch, who may make thousands and thousands in licensing his Identify, Picture and Likeness, has mentioned he doesn’t need any a part of advertising himself for cash in faculty. He simply desires to play.
And, boy, can he play.
After Saban watched Heisman winner Johnny Manziel dance everywhere in the Crimson Tide protection in 2012, the Bama coach determined he needed a quarterback who may try this, too.
His offensive coordinator on the time, Lane Kiffin, started recruiting elite, athletic QBs. Since then, we’ve seen Blake Sims, Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Bryce Younger all show how harmful the Tide will be offensively even when the play breaks down as a result of the quarterback is a menace to run.
Saban additionally pivoted to a mode of offense that was much less about ball management and extra about operating up the rating. Over the previous 5 seasons, Alabama averaging greater than 40 factors per recreation has grow to be an expectation, and the QB not manages however truly options within the offense.
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Reigning Heisman winner Younger is the most recent personification of Saban’s offense, and Manning’s talent set is analogous. The truth is, till earlier this month, it might’ve been truthful to say that Saban had the most effective likelihood of touchdown Manning.
Then Saban took a QB within the 2023 class: Louisiana native Eli Holstein is an impressive prospect in his personal proper, and he can greater than play the place in Tuscaloosa if given the possibility.
With one other QB in his class already dedicated to the Tide, Manning may not assume he would get the de facto nod the best way Younger did in 2021. Solely not too long ago have we seen applications grow to be snug with taking multiple quarterback in a recruiting class, however that additionally speaks to how some gamers really feel about not this system however about each other.
Mac Jones obtained the ticket and took the experience behind Tagovailoa, though they had been in the identical signing class. It labored out for each, however there was additionally no stress for Jones to play instantly.
Earlier than the 2020 season, most believed Younger can be the Week 1 starter as a real freshman. As a substitute, Jones led Alabama to a 13-0 file and its sixth nationwide title in 12 years.
Should you’re Manning, although, why take the possibility that you simply may not play in Tuscaloosa? Why wait your flip for those who don’t need to?
Is Alabama an excellent match for Arch Manning?
RJ Younger discusses Alabama’s recruitment of the No. 1 total prospect within the nation, Arch Manning. RJ explains why Alabama may not be the most effective match for Manning if he desires to play as early as doable.
Too typically, followers wish to accuse gamers of being afraid of competitors somewhat than discussing a participant’s determination to commit or not, to switch or not, as a enterprise determination. Should you will be the most effective someplace with much less competitors and nonetheless obtain your purpose — first-round choice, win a nationwide title — then why decide the trail of extra resistance?
There’s an argument to be made that selecting Alabama is finest for Manning as a result of the Tide have confirmed over the previous 15 years that the most effective NFL Draft prospects come out of Tuscaloosa. Then there’s an argument which may attraction to Arch extra: Does he wish to be the most recent in a string of excellent gamers to come back out Alabama and be on a crew that has gained a nationwide title ring for each participant who has signed with the Tide since 2007?
Or does he wish to grow to be a legend?
RJ Younger is a nationwide faculty soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and the host of the podcast “The No. 1 Ranked Present with RJ Younger.” Observe him on Twitter at @RJ_Young, and subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube. He’s not on a StepMill.
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