Arch Manning, Jaden Rashada key critical week for top QB recruits

Arch Manning, Jaden Rashada key critical week for top QB recruits

Arch Manning will make his final official visit this weekend, while Jaden Rashada will be leaving the board on Saturday. It would be misleading to say that the college football recruiting community is not entering a crucial week of quarterback dominoes.

The world’s most well-known amateur quarterback made the second of three official visits to the weekend, visiting Nick Saban and Alabama. Manning was in Georgia the week before and plans to return home to Texas this weekend. The New Orleans Isidore Newman Prospect also visited LSU nearby, visiting Brian Kelly’s staff as a recruit for the first time.

Going into the visit, Sports Illustrated cross-checked sources around the Crimson Tide, confirming clear plans to take a second quarterback recruit in the class of 2023, a growing theme with some programs given the depth of the talent at the position. UA accepted the pledge of Zachary(La. High state champion Eli Holstein, who edged Manning for Maxpreps State Player of the Year in leading Zachary High School to a state championship in 2021, on May 24. This means that Saban, Bill O’Brien, and the rest will continue to court Manning. Manning has visited Alabama at least three more times as a recruit.

Texas and Georgia both coveted Manning, but they have not publicly pursued other passers. In contrast, the Longhorns have not even offered another quarterback in the entire class. Since March, when Nico Iamaleava, a California prep passer, was transferred to Tennessee, the Bulldogs have not attempted to find another. Steve Sarkisian’s team now receives the last known official visit from the NFL legacy, although there is no official timeline for his verbal engagement. There was more talk this weekend about a possible unofficial visit to Florida. This was something Manning hinted at in May . It should be noted that Manning will not likely make any trips during the Manning Passing Academy, set to take place in his native Louisiana June 23-26.

A fluid time line seems like the opposite of what Jaden Rashada, Pittsburg High School’s quarterback, sees. The well-traveled recruit wrapped up his weekend at the Overtime OT7 tournament after back-to-back-to-back official visits to Texas A&M, LSU and Florida–including a staggering 10 total flights–just last week. While the Rashada camp made a first impression in College Station, Gainesville was his second visit to UF in the same time frame. Over the weekend, he told SI there are no planned visits remaining–meaning Rashada and his inner circle will be in full evaluation mode before a scheduled decision on June 18.

Saturday couldn’t have come soon enough for those programs that generated the most buzz about the lanky Californian in Florida, Miami, and Texas A&M. Rashada may squeeze in another trip before the final call, but all indications are that he will be back to Coral Gables. Although he has been to Miami recently, he has not yet received an official visit. He spent the weekend throwing to Robby Washington, a long-time Miami commitment and peer recruiter, as well Oregon pledge Jurrion Dickey who the Canes hosted recently for a visit to try to change his mind.

Rashada said that the Texas A&M visit was eye opening for him and his family. While the trip to Florida, where the Canes hosted a visit from Robby Washington, was a great experience, it also gave him the confidence that Billy Napier’s coaching staff is moving in the right direction. The rising senior recruit stated that each of his top seven programs (Cal, Oregon Ole Miss, LSU. A&M, Florida and Miami) still has a chance to add him to the verbal commit list within a matter days. He said that if he wasn’t ready to reduce the list to seven, he would consider pushing back a decision. The Hurricanes could benefit as much from this scenario as any of the other seven in the hunt, allowing them more time to land an official visit.

Pushing things back is still the most likely scenario for another A&M target in Miami Martin Luther King’s Dante Moore. According to Moore, the only visit currently on the docket is an unofficial visit to College Station scheduled for this weekend. This coincides with Aggie target Rashada’s current decision date. Moore has made official visits to Oregon, LSU, and Michigan. He also made unofficial stops at Notre Dame and Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan State, Michigan State, and Miami twice this season.

Moore added that he was still in school through the end of June, leading right into the Elite 11 beginning June 28 in Los Angeles. This means that he is not allowed to go on any open visit weekends, despite being given three more trips. Moore’s recruitment will likely continue into August, as July is a quiet period in college football recruiting. Many of the programs after him are under new management, so seeing some of the offensive staffs in action early in the 2022 season could help to shape the tail-end of perhaps the most intriguing quarterback recruitment beyond that of Manning himself.

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Notre Dame, which added class of 2024 passer CJ Carr on Thursday with rumors of a potential reclassification to the 2023 class swirling, had been viewed as the longtime favorite for Moore. The college football season is getting closer, but it seems that there are still other candidates who could be interested in closing the gap. If Rashada follows through with his Saturday pledge to Moore, it will be a process of elimination. Jim Harbaugh’s program is the latest buzz surrounding potential candidates for the Michigan native. This program is one of many still searching for their signal-caller.

Many other passers have appeared in recent weeks and months to potentially affect some of the blue-blood programs still looking for a future QB. Dylan Lonergan, who also has legitimate baseball talent as a pitcher already throwing fastballs in the 90-plus mph range, took official visits to Alabama and South Carolina of late. Stanford welcomes him to campus at the end the month, ahead of a commitment date set for July 5, which the Georgian native announced publicly on Sunday.

Lonergan had previously listed Florida and Ohio State among his top five in April. However, each of those programs are no longer in contention, according to the two-sport star. While Florida is all-in on Rashada and could be a late dark horse for Manning (should he visit), Ohio State has focused on two new quarterback targets of their own down the stretch of the quarterback-commitment season.

Austin Novosad (a Texan who committed in December to Baylor), camped for Ryan Day, and received a scholarship offer by OSU on June 1. The official visit to Columbus by Novosad was a huge success. The Elite 11 Finalist will return to Waco for an official visit with Dave Aranda’s program before departing to L.A. for the national quarterback competition to wrap up his summer on the camp circuit. Stanford recently offered Novosad, but plans to visit Palo Alto in person are still being confirmed.

Brock Glenn from Memphis Lausanne visited Florida State to meet with officials over the weekend. In late May, Rickie Collins, a Seminole commitment, offered to pair him and Collins with Chris Parson, a long-time Seminole commitment (who visited Mississippi State over the weekend). Glenn was offered by Ohio State last week. He will now make an official visit to Columbus this weekend. Auburn, Mississippi State, TCU, FSU, Virginia and the Buckeyes are among those in contention for the emerger, who continues to say he wants to be committed by the time he flies to the Elite 11 Finals later this month.

Manning at Texas, Moore at Texas A&M, Glenn at Ohio State, Novosad at Baylor and dual-threat Avery Johnson at Oregon this weekend may help sort out some of the deepest quarterback dominos college football recruiting has seen in one class in several years, while one of the best in Rashada potentially comes off the board in the process.

Who says there is an offseason for college football?

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