Peyton Manning Compares Recruitment to Arch Manning

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    Earlier this week, the top-ranked quarterback in the class of 2023, Arch Manning, officially made his commitment to the University of Texas. At the time of his commitment, though, Arch’s family was opening the first day of the 2022 Manning Passing Academy. The timing of the two events has led to fascinating access into Arch’s recruitment from his uncles – Peyton and Eli Manning.

    While discussing his nephew’s commitment this weekend with the press, former Tennessee legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning spoke about the similarities and differences between the recruiting process in the early 1990s and the early 2020s. While doing so, Manning pulled the curtain back on his own recruitment and when he knew he was going to be a Volunteer. As he tells it, that moment came right after a visit to the University of Florida.

    “I shared with Arch last week that I took a visit to Tennessee but had one more visit left to go to Florida,” Manning said via WWL Sports on YouTube. “I really liked Tennessee, but I’ve been to Florida, I really liked Florida, too. So I kind of went into that Florida visit, you know, kind of between those two it felt like. But I got back from Florida and I just said, ‘You know, I think Tennessee is the place for me.'”

    Manning then went on to explain what happened next in the story, which includes a funny landing spot for the actual announcement of his commitment.

    “That was on like a Sunday,” Peyton continued on to say during the press conference. “My Dad and I checked into the Hilton hotel. I skipped school Monday to have kind of one day to collect my thoughts and be sure it was the right decision. And then that Monday night, called the coaches that were recruiting me, that I wasn’t going to go there. Called Tennessee and told them I was going. And then yeah, Tuesday morning at Kabby’s Sports Bar, I announced that I was going to Tennessee.”

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    Manning had to take a second to collect himself from laughing after seemingly recalling the memory of himself at 17 announcing his commitment from a sports bar on a Tuesday morning. Kabby’s Sports Bar in New Orleans is difficult to track down in 2022 but looks to be located inside of the Hilton New Orleans riverside location, which is seemingly confirmed in the next part of the story.

    “So, I don’t know if that’s the right thing for a 17, 18-year-old to do,” Manning said with a playful shrug. “But the Hilton manager was a good friend of my dad’s, Paul Buckley, so that’s how that went down… I remember what a good feeling it was once I finally made that decision and I’m sure Arch has that same feeling.”

    Speaking of Arch Manning, uncle Peyton spoke about the ups and downs of the recruitment, which is wildly different now compared to then. Advancements in technology, communication, rule changes, and several other variables in the Internet Era have completely changed the way recruiting goes now.

    However, despite the difference in how it’s done, the final step of the process for these players is still the exact same. And that’s when it comes down to silencing the outside noise, closing down your circle of trust, and making your commitment. And that’s where Manning still has plenty of advice for Arch and the college football players of the future.

    “I just encourage them to concentrate on the task at hand,” Manning said via WWL Sports on YouTube. “Be a senior, finish out your education, get your high school diploma, and obviously try to have the best senior year you can. There’s no doubt it can become a distraction if you let it, but it’s not fair to your teammates and your coaches if you’re not. So I think for [Arch Manning’s] sake, the fact that he made this decision here in June was smart. Back when I was getting recruited, it didn’t really start until after the season. So you couldn’t really make it till after your senior year. But I remember during my senior year I was getting recruited but I felt like I was able to concentrate on my season. So I think for anybody that makes the decision early, I think it’s a great sense of relief.”

    A full video of the press conference can be found below.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.