Arch Manning’s dedication to Texas seems to be paying off immediately on the hiring path.
Steve Sarkisian and his Longhorns coaching staff have secured verbal commitments from nine players in the class of 2023 since Manning – the number 1 player in the country – said he was going to Texas on June 23† Manning chose Texas over Georgia and Alabama because he markedly ended one of college football’s most high-profile hires in years before his final season of high school football.
Six of the players Texas has received pledges from since Manning announced his decision have been on the offensive side of the ball. Four of those players are offensive linemen. two others, including final commitment Johntay Cook IIare wide receivers.
With the addition of Cook, Texas has moved past Ohio State and Notre Dame to the number 1 spot in the Rivals team rankings for the class of 2023.
Cook is one of the best wideouts in his class and is rated No. 52 in the nation by Rivals. He is the third-highest-rated player in the class to date behind Manning and Derek Williams, Louisiana Defensive Defender Who Is 41st Best Player in 2023†
In addition to the new receivers in the fold, the influx of talent on the offensive line appears to be directly correlated with the addition of Manning.
Sunday’s four offensive line pledges reveal that the big men are also sold on the vision. [Connor] Stroh told Orangebloods in the late spring that he was attracted to the idea of blocking Manning from college. It is reasonable to assume that this was part of the thinking for [Andre] cojoe, [Jaydon] Chatman, and [Trevor] Goosby too.
The allure is definitely there for the linemen the Longhorns are looking for.
Strengthening the offensive line is a big deal for Texas. The Longhorns have had only two offensive linemen lined up since Tony Hills was taken in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL draft. Connor Williams was drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft and Sam Cosmi was drafted in the second round of the 2021 draft. from Texas entered the 2022 NFL draft. The 2022 draft was the second draft in the past decade not to include a Longhorn.
The other receiver recently assigned to the Longhorns in the wake of Manning’s union is Jonah Wilson, a four-star wide receiver. Wilson is the No. 36 wide receiver in the 2023 class and the No. 47 player in the state of Texas.
Wilson and Cook are two of seven Texas players who have made a verbal commitment in the past four days. As you probably know, the state of Texas is full of high school football talent. If Texas could get the state’s best recruits every season, it would be great without players from elsewhere.
But the Longhorns have not been as successful as they would like in the state in recent years. Texas only got two of the state’s top 10 players in the 2021 class, while Texas A&M had five. Overall, the Longhorns have gotten just four of the state’s top 30 players in the past three recruiting cycles, although 2021’s top player Quinn Ewers was transferred from Ohio to Texas in December.
If Texas finishes in the top three of the Rivals rankings, it’s in the top three for the first time since the 2012 hiring cycle when the Longhorns were alone behind Alabama.