Arch Manning talks about why he wants to stay a Texas Longhorn, even if it's just as a backup.
Arch Manning talks about why he wants to stay a Texas Longhorn, even if it’s just as a backup.

Reports that NEW ORLEANS A lot of reporters swarmed Arch Manning as he sat down on a bench next to some other Texas backups.

The crowd was much bigger than at any of the mini-podiums on the Superdome field that were set aside for famous Longhorns players.

As a 19-year-old, Manning talked about why he wants to stay at Texas, even if Quinn Ewers, who started at quarterback against Washington in Monday night’s College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl, decides to come back next season. Ewers is the grandson of one former NFL quarterback and the nephew of two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

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“There are always rumors, especially these days,” Manning said on Saturday. “But I haven’t thought about transferring at all.” “My only goal is to improve this team and assist it in any way I can so that I can play for the University of Texas one day, as I have always desired.”

Manning didn’t think that big money and fame could tempt him away to play quarterback for another powerful team that needed a new starter. He chose to go to college in Austin, Texas, in part because he thought coach Steve Sarkisian would help him with his offense.

The player said, “I don’t think it’s about money right now.” “I want to grow from Sark. My goal is to work hard and keep my head down because I was told that good things happen to people who do that.

Cooper Manning, Manning’s father, said that his son gave a lot of thought and work to where to go to college, and many of the things he thought about had nothing to do with sports.

“We thought about it this way: Where do you still want to be if you throw three interceptions and your girlfriend breaks up with you?” Cooper Manning asked. “We want him to enjoy everything that comes with college, like going to class and hanging out with his friends.”

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He said that he can tell that his grandson is happy at Texas.

He said, “That’s important to me for any college kid.” “They should be happy in college.” He is off to a good start.

It was different for Arch Manning to be asked to take pictures around campus. But he knew it was because of his family name and all the attention around his recruitment.

Manning said, “Austin was a good place for me because I can kind of blend in a little bit more in a big city than in Oxford, Mississippi, Athens, Georgia, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama.” He said with a humble smile, “That’s a college I’d want to go to if I wasn’t playing football. I don’t know if I could get in.” “But I’d like to be there.”

It was clear that Ewers was looking over his shoulder at the crowd around his new backup, but no one knows what he plans to do next year. This scene wasn’t really a metaphor for Texas’ quarterback problem, though. It was more of a reflection of how the Sugar Bowl was set up.

The media in New Orleans were excited to talk to Manning about being back in his hometown, where he went to Newman High School and where his grandpa played so well for the Saints that his name hangs above the Superdome’s large upper deck. He told them that he was having some Texas players over to his house in New Orleans’ historic “Uptown” neighborhood, where his mother Ellen was making chicken and sausage gumbo. He also talked about going to the Sugar Bowl almost every year as a child with Archie Manning, who he calls his role model and who has been on the bowl’s main committee for decades.

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At the same time, reporters from Austin, Texas, and across the country finally got to talk to Manning for the first time since he joined the Longhorns. Saturday was the first talk with the press of any kind since he was in high school. Ewers, on the other hand, had talked to the press the day before.

They seem to get along well when they stay in the same hotel room together on team road trips.

“I guess we need to be friends. “Ewers said, “We live together everywhere we go.” “He’s great. It’s nice to be with him. Like a guy who is humble. He wants to be a good player, I can tell.

Manning says the same thing about Ewers.

“Just a nice guy. “I like how he works on his preparation and acts because he was a big-time recruit,” Manning said. “This year, he’s been called. That’s clear from the field. It was fun to pick his brain.

Manning said there are good and bad things about having a name like his grandfather’s and uncles’, Peyton and Eli. His grandfather and uncles did well in the NFL and are now well-known in commercials and as sports analysts.

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Manning said, “The bad thing is that you get known a lot of the places you go, and sometimes you just want to be laid back and hide.” “But it has a lot of good in it. A lot of people give me good tips.

Manning made fun of the reporters who came to see him in a friendly way.

He said, “I don’t see you guys paying this much attention to other backups.” “That’s really strange. I’ve never really played football in college that meant anything.

He is only one play away, though, in case Ewers gets hurt.

“Hopefully doesn’t happen,” said Manning. “I’m excited to watch, but I’ll also be ready to play.”

Manning moved up the depth chart when Maalik Murphy, who was the second-string player before Murphy’s decision to leave earlier this month, did so. After that, Murphy decided to go to Duke.

“The whole time, I tried to get ready like I was the starter.” This is what Peyton and Eli told me before the season, Manning said. “Even at the end of the day, all I do is football. It’s what I’ve done my whole life.”

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