Arch Manning’s commitment to Texas is certainly a massive recruiting victory for the Longhorns as they try to rebuild their proud – but underachieving – football program. Manning will help with other recruits in his 2023 class and beyond plus he bolsters credibility for coach Steve Sarkisian after an awful debut season.
But what his impact on the field will be is murkier. Yes, he is the No. 1-rated quarterback in his class and has two uncles who each won a pair of Super Bowls and a grandfather who was one of the great players in SEC history. None of that guarantees success or rubber stamps him as the savior of the Texas program or a future as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Look no further than the career of Chris Simms at Texas. An equally heralded prospect that was the son of a Super Bowl MVP, he never found his footing with the Longhorns and failed to deliver in their biggest games.
There is a wide spectrum of achievement among those players in Arch Manning’s situation. What is the likelihood he matches the high expectations for him? History can help guide us with a look at the top-rated quarterbacks in the last 20 recruiting classes and how their careers evolved. (Rankings based on 247 Sports composite for each season). One thing worth noting – eight of the group transferred and six so far have been first-round picks.
Vince Young, Texas (2002)
The Houston native was one of the dynamic players during his three seasons with the Longhorns. He led the team to the national championship in 2005 and finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the 2006 draft, but his NFL career ended after six seasons.
Kyle Wright, Miami (Fla.) (2003)
Thought to be the successor to the talented Hurricanes quarterbacks that came before him, Wright never fulfilled those expectations, throwing for just 38 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He went undrafted in 2008:
Rhett Bomar, Oklahoma (2004)
Bomar started during his redshirt freshman season in 2005 and showed promise, winning the Holiday Bowl MVP. However, he was kicked off the team that offseason due to his involvement in NCAA rules violations. Bomar transferred to Sam Houston State and was drafted by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the 2009 draft, spending most of the next two years on the practice practice squad. He was signed by the Minnesota Vikings and later the Oakland Raiders but never threw a pass in the NFL.
Mark Sanchez, Southern California (2005)
Sanchez would not become the full-time starter for the Trojans until his fourth season and led the team to the Rose Bowl while throwing for 34 touchdowns. He entered the NFL draft with one year of remaining eligibility and was taken with the fifth pick in the first round by the New York Jets. He led the Jets to two AFC championship games before his career stalled. His last appearance was in 2018.
Matthew Stafford, Georgia (2006)
Stafford took over the starting job with the Bulldogs early in his freshman season and did not relinquish it until leaving after his junior year. Georgia was successful during his time there, but the team failed to make the SEC title game before the Detroit Lions made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. In his first season with the Los Angeles Rams in 2021, he led the team to a Super Bowl victory.
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame (2007)
Arriving to the announcement of his commitment in a limousine at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana, there was plenty of scrutiny on Clausen from the start. Clausen was not a generational talent as his hype suggested, but he had a solid three years as a starter for the Fighting Irish with 53 touchdowns in his final two seasons, though the team struggled. He was taken in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers and forced to start 10 games of his rookie season, winning just one. He last played in 2015.
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State (2008)
Pryor assumed the starting job for the Buckeyes as a freshman and led them to the Big Ten title as a sophomore. His career was cut short in 2010 when he was implicated in NCAA rules violations and suspended for the passing bowl game. Pryor was selected in the third round of the NFL’s supplemental draft in 2011 by the Oakland Raiders. He started 10 games for the Raiders during his four years with the team and eventually switched to wide receiver. He last played in 2018.
Matt Barkley, Southern California (2009)
Another player with high expectations, Barkley succeeded Sanchez as the starter for the Trojans after winning the job as a true freshman. Two of his seasons were played with USC on probation but entering his senior year USC was ranked No. 1 in the preseason and he was considered the Heisman favorite. However, the team lost five games and Barkley would fall to the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. He has bounced around the NFL with several teams and recently signed with the Buffalo Bills.
Phillip Sims, Alabama (2010)
This year recruiting class lacked an elite talent at the position, making Sims one of the lowest top-rated quarterbacks in the last quarter century. Sims was the backup to AJ McCarron for two seasons before transferring home to Virginia. He played in 12 games for the Cavaliers in 2012 then moved to Winston-Salem State after becoming academically ineligible. He was undrafted in 2015.
Jeff Driskel, Florida (2011)
Driskel played four seasons for the Gators with his bright spot coming in 2012 when he led the team to 11 wins and the Sugar Bowl despite throwing for just 12 touchdowns. He was injured and lost for the season the following year in the third game. After losing his job in 2014, he transferred to Louisiana Tech and was eventually selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Driskel started five games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018 and one for the Detroit Lions the following year. He is currently a member of the Houston Texans.
Jameis Winston, Florida State (2012)
The only quarterback on this list to win a national title and the Heisman Trophy, Winston redshirted his freshman season before winning his first 26 games as a starter. The first 14 came in his initial campaign that saw him throw for 40 touchdowns as the Seminoles beat Auburn in the BCS title game. They would reach the College Football Playoff the following year. Winston then departed as he was selected first overall in the 2015 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played five seasons for the Bucs before moving on to the New Orleans Saints, where he has been the past two seasons.
Max Browne, Southern California (2013)
The third Trojans signee on this list, Browne was a backup for his first three seasons. After winning the starting job in 2016, a poor outing against Alabama in the opener led to him being replaced by Sam Darnold. Browne left for Pittsburgh the following season and was the starter for five games before a season-ending injury. He was undrafted.
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M (2014)
Allen shared the starting role as a freshman and then won the job the following season. He eventually was replaced by Kyler Murray after midseason struggles and transferred to Houston after the season. Allen sat out the season in 2016 and lost his starting job early in the following season and then elected to enter the NFL draft. He signed with the Carolina Panthers after going undrafted. He played two seasons with the Panthers and two more with Washington before signing with Houston this offseason.
Josh Rosen, UCLA (2015)
Rosen was considered a can’t-miss prospect after his heralded high school career and he performed well in his freshman season, throwing for 23 touchdowns and leading the Bruins to eight wins. He was injured midway through his sophomore season and declared for the NFL draft after his junior year. A first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, he started 13 games in his rookie season and then was traded to the Miami Dolphins. He also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons in his four seasons.
Shea Patterson, Mississippi (2016)
Patterson planned to redshirt his freshman season but was pressed into action late in the campaign due to an injury. His strong performances in those final three games created optimism before the next season but Ole Miss was placed on probation and coach Hugh Freeze was fired. Patterson was injured midway through the year and would transfer to Michigan. He played well for the Wolverines, tossing 45 touchdowns in those two seasons, but went undrafted in 2020. He has played in the Canadian Football League and USFL since.
Davis Mills, Stanford (2017)
Mills assumed the starting job for the Cardinal after an injury in his third season. The pandemic limited him to just five games in 2020 and he entered the NFL draft in 2021. The Houston Texas selected him in the third round and he started 11 games last year. Despite only winning two games, he broke the team record for passing yards by a rookie and is expected to be the starter this season.
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (2018)
Like Manning is expected to be, Lawrence was the consensus No. 1 overall player in his recruiting class. He lived up to those predictions once assuming the starting job early in his freshman season and leading the Tigers to the national title. Clemson would appear in two College Football Playoffs after that and then Lawrence declared for the NFL draft. He was selected first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars and started all 17 games in his rookie season.
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma (2019)
After sitting behind Jalen Hurts his freshman year, Rattler went through growing pains in his first year as a starter before rebounding to lead the Sooners to the Big 12 title. The presumptive Heisman favorite entering last season, he again struggled and was eventually replaced by Caleb Williams against Texas and did not start another game. He transferred to South Carolina for this season.
Bryce Young, Alabama (2020)
Young is the second winner of a Heisman Trophy on this list after he piled up 47 touchdowns and 4,872 yards in his first season as a starter last year. The Crimson Tide reached the College Football Playoff game before losing to Georgia. Young is expected to enter the NFL draft after this season and projects to be a first-round pick.
Quinn Ewers, Ohio State (2021)
Ewers elected to bypass his final high school season and enroll with the Buckeyes. His late arrival during the preseason and the depth of the quarterback competition led to him being buried on the depth chart for the season. He elected to transfer to Texas and competed for the starting job this spring.
Follow colleges reporter Erick Smith on Twitter: @ericksmith:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Arch Manning: How past 20 college football top QB recruits have fared: