2023 five-star quarterback Arch Manning surprised a lot of folks on Thursday by announcing his commitment to the Texas Longhorns.
The fact he committed to Texas isn’t surprising — it’s been well-documented that Manning has a good relationship with Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian — it’s how early the commitment was made.
Most folks, including myself, weren’t expecting Manning to commit until this fall at the earliest. But in true Manning fashion, Arch kept everyone on their toes by committing seemingly out of nowhere.
You might think this puts a bow on any Arch Manning recruiting drama, but I don’t think that’s the case at all.
In fact, I think Manning’s recruitment has the potential to get incredibly wild from here.
That’s because I wouldn’t be shocked if Sarkisian is fired after the 2022 season.
There were rumblings that Sarkisian could be fired after just one year at Texas. The program appeared to take a step back in its first season under Sark, going just 5-7 a year after going 7-3 under Tom Herman.
Not only did Texas underperform last year, but the Longhorns got worse as the year progressed. Texas lost six of their final seven games, including an embarrassing 57-56 loss to Kansas at home (the Jayhawks finished 2-10 last year and their only other win was a 17-14 victory against South Dakota).
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that Texas could be even worse in 2022. If the Longhorns go 4-8 or 3-9 will Sark keep his job?
If Sarkisian is fired, Manning would almost certainly decommit. And that’s when things could get really interesting. Most major programs either already have a quarterback committed or they will before the end of summer. Arch obviously won’t have a problem finding a home, but it could lead to a chain reaction where a previously committed quarterback decommits and attempts to head elsewhere.
In other words, if Sarkisian underperforms in 2022 and loses his job, it will completely rock the recruiting world.
Based on what we saw last season, I think this is a very real possibility. Buckle up, this fall/winter could get wild.
Featured image via SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK