ESPN gave Arch Manning – the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, 16 – the LeBron James treatment on Friday night.
Returning on December 17, 2002, the network televised its First time high school sporting event: James and his St. Vincent-St. Mary’s basketball team against Carmelo Anthony’s Oak Hill Academy. Nineteen years later on ESPNU Friday, Manning – considered the nation’s best quarterback in the class of 2023 – led his New Orleans high school team, Isidore Newman, against the highly talented Berkeley Prep of Tampa. .
With Georgia head coach Kirby Smart watching from the sideline at Isidore Newman’s Lupine Field, Manning ran 68 yards for a touchdown and also threw a 10-yard timing route for a score. But tracked down by Berkeley defensive end Keon Keeley, a commitment from Notre Dame, Manning also threw two harassed interceptions (not to mention a third that was wiped out by a penalty) in a 49-24 loss.
“We knew [Berkeley Prep was] really, really good, and they’re as talented a team as I’ve seen them in quite some time, ”said Isidore Newman head coach Nelson Stewart. “… It was the best game I’ve seen Arch Manning play. I’ve never seen him do what he did tonight against a physically superior opponent.”
Overall, the junior completed 18 of 35 passes for 213 yards. Berkeley Prep (8-0) was led by running back and Iowa State lead Xavier Townsend, who ran for four touchdowns, caught a fifth touchdown, totaled 351 yards in the scrum… and had also intercepted a pass from Manning.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Manning, the son of Eli and Peyton’s older brother Cooper, is in the midst of a high-stakes recruiting war. Although Eli and his father Archie Manning attended Ole Miss – and young Arch will be in Oxford, Mississippi on Saturday to attend Eli’s jersey retirement – the Rebels don’t appear to be the favorites. The latest reports indicate that Arch Manning chooses between Georgia and Texas. Alabama is also in the mix.
Arch Manning is a pro-style quarterback who, in addition to being compared to his conscious NFT uncles, has been compared to former Stanford and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, due to its mobility.
James and Anthony are now teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers.