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Georgia football winners and losers following Arch Manning commitment to Texas
Winner: Steve Sarkisian
It’s not often you see an opposing coach go head-to-head against Kirby Smart and come out on top for a major prospect of need. Even at the quarterback position, Georgia found success in landing big-time players such as Justin Fields, Jacob Eason and Brock Vandagriff.
Yet Sarkisian went up against Georgia and beat out the Bulldogs for perhaps the most well-known quarterback prospect in some time in Manning. The No. 1 player in the 2023 recruiting cycle could’ve gone anywhere. Georgia, Clemson and Alabama all hosted Manning on visits at various points, while programs such as Florida and LSU tried to take a swing.
It says a lot about the faith the Manning family has in Sarkisian to land the 5-star quarterback. Consider that Texas went 5-7 last season, which included a loss to Kansas. Sarkisian is undeniably a great offensive mind and helped Mac Jones and Tua Tagavoila turn into first-round picks while at Alabama. He also helped sign Bryce Young at Alabama.
Sarkisian was already under immense pressure at Texas, given the nature of the job. Adding Manning to that mix shouldn’t make things all that more pressurized. Sure Manning will bring more attention, but Sarkisian is tasked with elevating Texas into the sport’s elite. That is an easier task with Manning on your team.
Landing Manning should make that somewhat easier for the Longhorns. Now comes the hard part — especially for the Longhorns who had zero draft picks this past year — of developing and getting the most out of their talent.
Loser: Georgia in 5-star quarterback battles
There is now an even bigger microscope on the Georgia offense this year, even if the Bulldogs were a top-10 offensive unit last season.
Winner: Gunner Stockton
When Stockton committed to Georgia in January of 2021, he was a 5-star prospect at the time. All the attention and praise that was showered on Manning was being dumped on Stockton.
But then Stockton’s recruiting ranking dipped and the attention surrounding him simmered. He had no drama in his recruitment and enrolled at Georgia in January. He went through spring practice, getting his feet wet in Georgia’s system.
He completed just one pass for nine yards in the spring game, but first-year quarterbacks haven’t been all that productive under Todd Monken. Consider Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff were in similar situations as freshmen. Now the two are poised to battle it out for Georgia’s back-up job and likely the starting role once Bennett finishes his eligibility after the 2022 season.
With Manning now heading to Texas, Stockton now becomes a much bigger factor in the future of the Georgia quarterback room. It is unknown what Georgia will end up doing in the 2023 quarterback recruiting cycle, but the options as it stands seem lesser than that of Stockon. Who still finished as the No. 124 overall prospect in the 2022 recruiting cycle.