Highly touted quarterback Arch Manning was surrounded by reporters moments after he sat down with with the media inside the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.
“Am I allowed to answer questions?” Manning wondered.
The freshman signal-caller likely asked because, prior to Saturday, he had not spoken publicly since he became a member of the Longhorns.
Manning is no typical backup quarterback given his family legacy. He talked to reporters ahead of Texas’ appearance in the Sugar Bowl.
The College Football Playoff semifinal game between the Longhorns and the second-ranked Washington Huskies is scheduled for Monday.
Manning has seen limited playing time at Texas with Quinn Ewers as the starter. Ewers did miss a couple of games with a shoulder injury, but Maalik Murphy stepped in during his absence. Murphy recently announced his plans to transfer to Duke.
Ewers has not made it clear whether he will return to Austin next season.
During Manning’s media session, he addressed rumors he would consider transferring from Texas in favor of another school where he could start in 2024. But Peyton Manning and Eli Manning’s nephew dismissed the idea that he is thinking about leaving Texas.
“Obviously, there’s all these rumors, but I haven’t looked into transferring at all. I’m just focused on developing and helping this team in any way I can, and, hopefully, one day playing for the University of Texas like I always wanted to,” Manning said via The Athletic.
The first-year Texas quarterback was born in Louisiana and played high school football in New Orleans. He discussed his preparation for Monday’s game despite knowing he may not play.
“I’ve tried to prepare like I’m the starter every week, but I guess now that you’re just one play away instead of two, there’s a little more to be prepared for,” Manning said.
“A lot of it is mental just because you’re watching. You’ve got to get mental reps and just trying to prepare like you’re the starter because there’s a good chance you play. There’s also a good chance you don’t play. But, at the end of the day, it’s just football, going out there, doing what I’ve done my whole life. So, that’s what I’m trying to do.”
A November matchup with Texas Tech marked Manning’s first time playing in a regular-season game at Texas.
He finished with 30 passing yards in the Longhorns’ 57-7 victory. Manning recalled the feeling of taking the field for the first time in his college football career.
“It felt good to be back out there. It had been about a year since I’d been in a game,” Manning said. “It did get pretty loud. I didn’t want my first play to be a pre-snap penalty, so that’s why I was trying to quiet them down. It surprised me, especially because I haven’t done anything yet.”
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