Author: Dawson Haywood
Could the Manning legacy continue at Chapel Hill under Coach Mack Brown? Could the Tar Heels make a big enough push to secure one of the most coveted Quarterbacks in the class of 2023? How could securing Arch Manning impact Carolina's National Title Chances?
For those that do not know who Arch Manning is he is the son of Eli and Payton Manning's brother, Cooper. It is no secret that the Manning family has a rich Quarterback pedigree as the family has produced one NFL Hall of Famer, Peyton, and one College Football Hall of Famer, Archie. Eli is questionable as to whether or not he belongs in Canton but the fact that he is even in the conversation is an accomplishment regardless.
Arch is without a doubt one of the most sought after football players in the class of 2023. He is the #1 Quarterback and the #5 player nationally in his class. At the conclusion of his Sophomore season Arch is sitting pretty with an 18-3 record as a starting quarterback at Isidore Newman High School out of New Orleans. Unfortunately for Arch he has yet to lead the Greenies to a Louisiana Division III State Title. Luckily, he still has two more years to accomplish this.
The UNC Tar Heels have recently found significant success with two of their last three Quarterbacks, Mitch Trubisky and Sam Howell. Trubisky played under Coach Larry Fadora, who is now the offensive coordinator for Baylor, and was the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. Trubisky had short success in the NFL making one visit to the Pro Bowl in his Sophomore season. Mitch has since not seen much success. Howell on the other hand was one of Coach Mack Brown's first major recruits stealing Howell from Florida State in 2019. Should Howell continue to build off the momentum of the last two season it is likely that he will be a Top 10 pick in this coming NFL draft.
Coach Brown has been successful in recruiting Quarterbacks since returning to Carolina picking up Sam Howell who was the #6 overall quarterback in the Class of 2019, Jacolby Criswell who is the #11 Dual Quarterback in the Class of 2020, and Drake Maye who is the #8 overall quarterback in the class of 2021. It is no secret that Brown loves his quarterbacks but more specifically he loves his Pro Style Quarterbacks, Howell and Maye.
Arch Manning, as mentioned earlier, is the #1 Quarterback in his class but where Coach Brown's attraction lies is in Arch's Pro Style. With the success Howell has had as a Pro Style Quarterback at UNC earning the school the #13 AP Poll Position and the #7 ESPN Way-To-Early position it would almost be a crime to stray away from what has been working for the Tar Heels. Securing Maye gives UNC time to find his successor and continue the successful Quarterback pedigree of the University.
Thinking as if I were Arch Manning I could see both pros and cons to signing with UNC. With Maye likely taking the reigns of the program once Howell leaves for the NFL, if Arch were to sign with the Tar Heels he would be locked into a very competitive Quarterback competition for the starting position. If he were to lose that competition he would have to sit behind Maye for a year or two depending on if Maye was in a position to get drafted early. But, with that comes time to develop. On the other hand Manning could come on board and take the starting position right away. I love Luke Maye but if Arch were to sign with the Tar Heels the likelihood of this would be high. Maye would likely find somewhere else to play and Manning would have full control of the Tar Heels.
UNC is an up and coming team and this year is the first that they are seriously in the National Title conversation. At the conclusion of this season with Howell leaving the future of the Tar Heels is questionable, but there is no reason to believe that Coach Brown will not have his Tar Heels in the Top-25 each year. Maye will have to come on board and begin performing at a high level immediately. Throwing a Freshman Quarterback into a starting position right away is risky for any team so the Heels may see a slump in his first year or two. Should the Tar Heels secure Manning and give him time to develop a slump would not last long. The best plan of action would be to recruit Manning and let him sit and develop behind Maye for a year or two and then throw him onto the field and let him shine.
This is a far fetched scenario but it could work. It could lead to the Tar Heels winning a National Championship. While unlikely, Carolina would be a good fit for Manning and would give him a chance at reaching his full potential. Manning would have the opportunity to take a team that is right there and put them at that next level which would further improve upon the legacy of the Manning Family.