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

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

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Arch Manning is set to take his final planned official visit this weekend and Jaden Rashada comes off the board this Saturday. To say the college football recruiting world isn’t entering a critical week of quarterback dominoes would be misleading. 

The world’s most famous amateur quarterback took the second of three official visits over the weekend, spending time with Nick Saban and Alabama. Manning was at Georgia the previous week and plans to return to Texas this coming weekend. The New Orleans Isidore Newman prospect also spent time at nearby LSU, technically visiting Brian Kelly’s staff for the first time as a recruit, for a team 7-on-7 camp prior to taking off for Tuscaloosa. 

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 took 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. It means Saban, Bill O’Brien and the rest of the staff will remain steady in continuing to court Manning, who has now visited Alabama at least three times as a recruit.

Both Texas and Georgia have coveted Manning without publicly pursuing other passers, conversely, and the Longhorns haven’t even offered another QB in the entire class. The Bulldogs haven’t pressed for another prep passer since California’s Nico Iamaleava came off the board to Tennessee in March. Steve Sarkisian’s staff now gets the last known official visit out of the NFL legacy, though there is no official timeline for his verbal commitment. Over the weekend, more buzz around a potential unofficial visit to Florida, something Manning hinted at in May, picked up some steam. 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 timeline seems like the opposite for Pittsburg (Calif.) High School quarterback Jaden Rashada. 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. The time in College Station was a first impression for the Rashada camp while the return to Gainesville was a second visit to UF in as many weeks. 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 come soon enough for the programs with the most buzz around the lanky California native in Florida, Miami and Texas A&M. Should Rashada squeeze in one more trip before the final call is made, however, all indication is that he would be down to see Coral Gables again. Miami has yet to receive an official visit from him, though he has spent time in town recently. At the weekend’s 7-on-7 event, he also spent time throwing to Miami commitment and longtime peer recruiter Robby Washington, as well as Oregon pledge Jurrion Dickey, who the Canes recently hosted for a visit in an attempt to change his mind. 

Rashada admitted the Texas A&M visit was eye-opening for both he and his family while the trip to Florida, where he spent a lot of time with emerging college QB Anthony Richardson, came with the confidence Billy Napier’s coaching staff is headed in the right direction. For the record, the rising senior recruit said each program in his top seven (Cal, Oregon, Ole Miss, LSU, A&M, Florida, Miami) still technically has a shot at adding him to the verbal commitment list in a matter of days. He also said if he wasn’t ready to trim the list from seven to just one, he would consider pushing a decision back some. If that scenario develops, affording Miami more time to potentially land an official visit, the Hurricanes could stand to benefit as much as any of the seven still in the hunt. 

Pushing things back continues to be the most likely scenario for another A&M, Miami and Oregon target in Detroit Martin Luther King’s Dante Moore. He told SI the only current visit on the docket was an unofficial to College Station set for this coming weekend, ironically overlapping with Aggie target Rashada’s current decision date. Moore has taken official visits to Oregon and LSU and mixed in unofficial stops at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Miami twice this year.

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. It means there aren’t any open official visit weekends for him to take despite being allotted up to three more trips. July is largely a dead period in college football recruiting so it appears Moore’s recruitment will likely extend into August at the earliest. 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. As the timeline continues to be pushed closer to the college football season, however, the door appears open for other contenders to work toward closing the gap. Should Rashada follow through with his pledge on Saturday to one of the contenders for Moore, that will serve as a process of elimination for one. Some of the most recent buzz around emerging contenders for the Michigan native is around Jim Harbaugh’s program, one of many still in search of their signal-caller in the class.

Many other passers have emerged in recent weeks and months to potentially impact some of the blue blood programs still on the hunt to add to their future QB room. 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 gets him on campus at the end of the month ahead of a commitment date of July 5, which the Georgia native set publicly on Sunday.

Lonergan previously included Ohio State and Florida in his top five in late April, but each of those programs is no longer in contention, the two-sport star confirmed to SI over the weekend. 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 to Baylor in December, camped for Ryan Day and earned a scholarship offer from OSU on June 1. He returned to Columbus for an official visit over the weekend, and it has the Baylor fanbase on edge to a degree. 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 also recently offered Novosad, though plans to see Palo Alto in person have yet to be been confirmed. 

Brock Glenn, of Memphis Lausanne, visited Florida State for an official over the weekend. The Seminoles just offered he and Purdue commitment Rickie Collins in late May to try and pair either with longtime Seminole commitment Chris Parson (who took a visit to Mississippi State over the weekend). Ohio State offered Glenn last week and he will now take an official visit to Columbus this coming 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 said there was an offseason in college football?

More from SIAA Football:

C.J. Carr Commits to Notre Dame Over Michigan, OthersMailbag: Arch Manning and the QB rooms he may walk into Rearranging the national QB dominos
Source : Sports Illustrated

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