Texas Football: Arch Manning has 'constantly improved' this fall

Arch Manning, Texas football
Arch Manning, Texas football / Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA

True freshman Texas football quarterback Arch Manning is about to be thrust into the backup role in the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the No. 2 Washington Huskies this postseason. Arch will be thrust into this new role after redshirt freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy announced his intentions to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal on Dec. 13.

It wasn't shocking to see Murphy enter the transfer portal heading into the 2024 offseason. What was surprising about this move was the timing of it. Most anticipated that Murphy would enter the transfer portal after the College Football Playoff since he has maintained the role of the backup quarterback throughout the regular season and the Big 12 title game.

Freshman Texas football QB Arch Manning learning the ropes as the newfound backup

"I hate it, I hate it," Murphy told ESPN. "I'm super invested in this team. Everything that we've done along the way and all the work we've put in together, it's hard to walk away, especially at this point during the season."

But the timing of the December portal window with the College Football Playoff preparation was too much for Murphy to fit all of it into his schedule.

Arch will now be getting the second-team reps at quarterback in bowl practice, with Murphy announcing his intentions to enter the transfer portal this week. Manning must be ready to be thrust into the spotlight if anything were to happen to redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers during the College Football Playoff.

Yet, it sounds like Manning is very prepared for this situation, as he has reportedly (per Orangebloods) "constantly improved" his game in practice this fall. Manning is reportedly seeing the field better and reading defenses more effectively when he comes under pressure.

Something that really stuck out to me from this OB report from Anwar Richardson was that Manning is apparently able to "run the entire offense" in practice and in simulated live-game situations. The staff reportedly has a "high level" of confidence in Manning's ability to lead the offense if he's thrust into action at any point this postseason.

Manning has added necessary weight to his frame this fall

Manning has evolved mentally and physically during his time on the Forty Acres as a true freshman this year. Richardson posted on his Twitter/X account on Dec. 15 that Manning has added 15 pounds to his frame, all of which is muscle weight.

Given the running element of Arch's game, it is important that he is physically able to absorb any contact he takes in live-game action.

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