NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Year one of varsity football for Arch Manning no doubt lived up to the hype. In middle school, we witnessed some signs of a special talent. He led the Greenies to a title in the seventh grade. But, carrying the Manning name, and the fanfare that surrounds it to high school, that’s quite a daunting task. Arch, well he delivered. Racking up over 2,400 yards passing, connecting on 34 touchdown passes. Nineteen of those scores went to his No.1 target Jarmone Sutherland.
“The seniors were real good to me, and I worked with Jarmone that whole offseason, before the season. You play well when you’re comfortable with the seniors, and you get to know them. I was good friends with all of them. So that definitely helped with the success last year,” said Newman QB Arch Manning.
“I think he’s incredibly humble. I think he came in with the right mindset. He earned it every day. There was no entitlement with that, even though he had success at the middle school level. He wanted to earn it the right way. I saw it from day one. He formed a great bond with Beau Adams, our rising senior quarterback. I think because of his character, and how hard he worked. I don’t think he got the respect of just Beau, but the entire team. That’s what quarterbacks do. You earn it, you don’t talk about it,” said Newman head coach Nelson Stewart.
Those video-game like numbers helped Manning gain some new fans, and receive an autograph request from an unlikely source.
“Starting off with 7-on-7, it won’t even be a team your playing. But someone will be like ‘that’s Arch Manning over there.’ That’s pretty funny. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the opposing team shaking hands and ask for his autograph,” said Newman wide receiver John Charbonnet.
This offseason, Manning transformed his game on and off the field. The sophomore now stands nearly 6'3", and gained 33 pounds since last fall.
“I’ve been lifting a lot more, running with the boys, and taking a lot of stops at Smoothie King. Getting a strawberry hulk extra weight gain,” said Manning.
Manning continues working on trash talking with his uncles.
“Whenever Peyton and Eli come in town, we’ll workout and throw. Now that they’re both retired, we’re not competing. So now they give me all the advice I need and help me out. Whenever they say you’re skinny, what’s your bench. I say well what’s your 40. Yeah then they won’t talk,” said Manning.
His hair, also took on a radical transformation.
“I lost my fantasy football draft. So it was either dye my hair blonde or shaved the middle. So I just went with the blonde.”
But I don’t think the bet carried where you had to keep it for the next four months?
“Yeah I don’t know if I’m going to dye it back because it get’s real stiff, or I’ll cut it,” said Manning.
On the field, Manning is utilizing Zoom meetings to gain that extra edge.
“I continue to be impressed with him during the pandemic. When you hear so many kids that want to go on their own and do their own thing. He took time to work with me on Zoom. To work on the little things. The nuances of every game. His technique. Not what he did well, but what he could improve on,” said Manning.
Manning is only 16 years old. Still has three years left at Newman. So any talk of where he's attending college is a little premature.
“I haven’t even thought about it. There’s so much that goes into it. Coaches change every year. Quarterbacks that are there. I’m only a sophomore, I haven’t really thought about it at all. All my friends are LSU fans, and I definitely have a lot of LSU gear. I just wear what’s in my closet,” said Manning.
So until 2023, the focus will be on Arch and the Greenies, and not if it’s laundry day in the Manning household.