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Georgia football winners and losers after Arch Manning’s commitment to Texas
Winner: Steve Sarkisian
It’s not often you see an opposing coach take on Kirby Smart and prevail for a major needy prospect. Even at quarterback, Georgia has managed to land top players such as Justin Fields, Jacob Eason and Brock Vandagriff.
Still, Sarkisian took on Georgia and beat the Bulldogs for perhaps the best-known quarterback in Manning in some time. The No. 1 player in the 2023 recruiting round could have gone anywhere. Georgia, Clemson and Alabama have all welcomed Manning on visits at various times, while programs such as Florida and LSU have tried to gain momentum.
That says a lot about the confidence the Manning family has in Sarkisian to land the 5-star quarterback. Consider 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 become first-round picks in Alabama. He also helped sign Bryce Young to Alabama.
Sarkisian was already under immense pressure in Texas, given the nature of the job. Adding Manning to this mix shouldn’t make things any more pressured. Sure, Manning will get more attention, but Sarkisian is tasked with elevating Texas into the sport’s elite. It’s an easier task with Manning on your team.
Landing Manning should make this a bit easier for the Longhorns. Now comes the hardest part — especially for the Longhorns who had no draft picks last year — developing and making the most of their talent.
Loser: Georgia in 5-star quarterback battles
There’s now an even bigger microscope on Georgia’s offense this year, even though the Bulldogs were a top 10 offensive unit last season.
Winner: Gunner Stockton
When Stockton committed to Georgia in January 2021, he was a 5-star prospect then. All the attention and praise for Manning was poured out on Stockton.
But then Stockton’s recruiting rankings plummeted and the attention around him simmered. He had no drama when recruited and signed up at Georgia in January. He went through spring training, getting his feet wet in the Georgia system.
He completed just one pass for nine yards in the spring game, but freshman quarterbacks haven’t been very productive under Todd Monken. Consider that Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff were in similar situations as freshmen. Now, the two are set to fight for Georgia’s backup 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 Georgia’s quarterback room. It’s unclear what Georgia will end up doing in the 2023 quarterback recruiting round, but the current options look inferior to Stockon’s. Who still finished 124th in the overall outlook for the 2022 recruiting cycle.