The nation will get its first 2021 look at the country's No. 1 junior recruit on Thursday when quarterback Arch Manning
and his Newman (New Orleans)
Greenies travel to St. Charles Catholic (LaPlace, La.)
. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network as part of "The Battle Showcase," which features, among other things, a series of high school football and basketball games. Both teams are 4-0.
Manning, nephew of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, is a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder who was the first Newman player to ever start at the position as a freshman.
He has the Greenies off to an unbeaten start after going 11-for-11 for 179 yards and four touchdowns Friday in a 70-0 victory over Fisher. Manning, who also rushed for a touchdown, left with 4:00 left in the second quarter with his team leading 56-0.
How to Watch
What: Newman (4-0) vs. St. Charles Catholic (4-0)
Day: Thursday, Oct. 21
Time: 7 p.m. (local time)
TV/Stream: NBC Sports Network
He now has 5,410 passing yards in 24 career starts with 71 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He's also rushed for 14 touchdowns as the Greenies have gone 22-3.
For the season, the strong-armed and poised two-sport athlete — he also started on Newman's state championship finalist basketball team — has thrown for 1,050 yards, 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. The previous week, Manning completed 25-of-33 passes for 295 yards and five touchdowns in a 59-7 victory over Pearl River.
Newman coach Nelson Stewart, who played with Peyton and Arch's dad Cooper in high school, recently told 247Sports writer Mike Roach
that "he’s just awesome to coach. What people don’t understand that’s a rarity is. He likes to look at
practice scripts. He helps game plan. I send him the game plan on
Sundays and he’s able to look at those things. He just loves football. I
love working with him and we have a great staff around him. Even
tonight, he’s just really good with his ideas. He understands what they
are giving him.
"All of the physical attributes are obviously great, but it’s the mental
aspect and maturity. The biggest thing to me is his pocket presence.
He’s able to step up in the pocket and he’s got a very calm mind out
there. His processing speed is really fast and his recall is really
fast. He’s able to pull those things. He’s a really special quarterback."
During their Newman careers, Peyton Manning threw for for 7,207 career yards and a school record 92 touchdowns, while Eli Manning passed for a school record 7,389 yards and 89 touchdowns.
As long as he stays healthy, Arch should shatter those marks, perhaps by the end of the season, though the Greenies canceled two games due to Hurricane Ida. They are hoping to win the school's first state title after losing in the state semifinals last season.
After outscoring opponents 206-28 in the first four games, the competition level raises greatly Thursday for the Greenies. St. Charles Catholic has recorded three shutouts in four games while outscoring foes, 90-14. The Comets have a score to settle after losing 14-7 in last year's game at Newman. St. Charles had won the previous five games in the series, including a 28-27 victory in Manning's freshman season.
St. Charles enters No. 20 in the Louisiana MaxPreps state rankings, while the Greenies are No. 21.
Manning has 12 college offers to date, according to 247Sports. He's apparently warmed to five of those offers: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss and Texas.
Besides Manning, the Greenies have other college recruits, including junior tight end Will Randle
, who has offers from LSU, Florida State, SMU, Georgia Tech and Texas, and junior wide receiver Kai Donaldson
(Florida State, Virginia offers).
Arch's younger brother Heid Manning
, a 6-foot, 230-pound sophomore, is also the team's starting center and is also developing into a college prospect.