2023 QB Arch Manning (6-4 200) of New Orleans completed his in-season unofficial visits Saturday with a stop at Clemson for the Florida State game. Manning and his parents arrived shortly before kickoff, talked on the field with head coach Dabo Swinney, then took their place in the stands to watch the game. Afterwards, they were ushered into the Clemson locker room for the postgame presentations, talked again with Swinney and coaches and then headed out.
Nelson Stewart is Manning’s high school coach and is serving as the media contact for the family. As such, he is briefed by Manning after his visits. He got this feedback from him on the Clemson visit.
“I think the thing about Clemson he’s been very consistent about has been how welcoming and caring everyone is in the community,” Stewart said. “It’s been consistent since June, since he first went there. He said they are as friendly a group as he’s ever been around. It’s obviously unique with him. I spoke with his mother, and she said it was great. He loved speaking coach Swinney before the game. He’s just a kid who loves college football. He’s never been to Death Valley. It was a great environment. He loved the visit, especially his talk with coach Swinney.”
Manning not only is looking for the right fit in the community, but he also wants to play in an offense that best suits his skills. Stewart said there’s little doubt Clemson offers him that.
“Trevor Lawrence was actually his counselor at the Manning Passing Academy many years ago, so he got to know him a little bit,” Stewart said. “He’s pretty well versed in spread and what they do. At Newman, we run a spread, we run a lot of tempo and a lot of vertical stuff. Thankfully, he can run power reads in the quarterback run game. That’s the kind of offense he could get right into. I think he likes coach (Tony) Elliott and coach (Brandon) Streeter and the job they do. He’s said to me many times, it’s a great offense and obviously one he’d be lucky to be a part of. What I think it’s going to come down to is the relationships and the fit. There’s a reason you could say they are in his top five. I think their culture as well as their offensive consistency have everything to do with that.”
Manning also went to games this season at Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss. Now, he plans to focus on his Isidore Newman team and winning the school’s first state championship.
“He’s not in a rush,” Stewart said. “I think that’s very important. He’s incredibly mature. He’s very thoughtful. I think his goals in the short-term coming out of spring practice were to go to camps and see people. I think that now that he’s gone thru the visits at the stadiums, I’d like to think he’d go back and have some of those pseudo-official visits and really get to talk to the players. See the facilities, meet with the coaches, really talk to them. I think there’s definitely one more round of visits before he’s ready for that (a decision). Right now, I think he’s still a good way away, but I’d like to think maybe by the time spring comes around he’ll be at that point. There’s no rush on it. I think he’s going to do his due diligence and take his time with this decision. This is a young man that takes it seriously. I think when he makes his commitment that’s it. He’s not going to be pulling hats from a table. It’s a very big decision that he takes seriously, and when he’s ready he’s ready.”
Once the season is over, Manning will turn his attention back to recruiting. Stewart thinks Manning might take another round of visits to his top schools, and that would include a third stop at Clemson.
“I would think so. That’s a guess on my part,” Stewart said. “I would say there might be another round of visits. The state championships are in December. I think he’ll take a few weeks and really look at things. From a Clemson standpoint, he’s been there twice. He’s been to coach Swinney’s house, met the players, and loves the culture. They’ve done a fantastic job, so it would not surprise me if you saw him up there in the coming months.”