Alabama Football: Arch Manning recruiting takes a turn


The Alabama Football pursuit of 5-Star, quarterback, Arch Manning got a boost on Thursday. Reports are Manning will visit Texas this weekend and over the last few weeks, recruiting insiders stated the Crimson Tide and the Longhorns led for Manning.

A few weeks ago, Texas head coach, Steve Sarkisian had apparently played a trump card in the Manning recruitment game. Sark was reported to be in the process of bringing former Duke and Ole Miss head coach David Cutcliffe to Austin.

Cutcliffe was to work in an off-field role. Though Cutcliffe would not be able to coach players on the practice field, his widely reputed skills as a quarterback whisperer would be utilized by the Horns. At Tennesse, as an assistant, Cutcliffe coached Peyton Manning. As the Ole Miss head coach, he tutored Eli Manning. Archie Manning and his sons have well-established, close friendships with Cutcliffe.

On Thursday, it was learned David Cutcliffe will be going to Birmingham, rather than Austin. As reported by Stephen Samra of, Cutcliffe is going to work for the SEC. His new job is Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Football Relations.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced the hiring,

"Cutcliffe will provide guidance to the SEC Commissioner’s office for the purpose of enhancing the overall quality of football competition in the SEC in areas including game management, communications, playing rules, national policies and scheduling best practices"

Sankey also spoke about the respect he shares with the SEC football community for David Cutcliffe,

"David Cutcliffe has earned tremendous respect across the college football community and he adds to the SEC office a valuable depth of knowledge and expertise in the game."

Cutcliffe said he is thrilled to be returning to the SEC. Alabama football fans may be thrilled more. Suddenly an advantage for Texas landing Arch Manning has gone away.

David Cutcliffe was a high school quarterback in Birmingham. Not an SEC-caliber player, Cutcliffe went to Tuscaloosa for his education and gained a major added boost. While a student, he worked for Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant’s Crimson Tide staff. Cutcliffe attributes much of his knowledge of the game to those years in Tuscaloosa.

Does the development mean Alabama is now the leader for Arch Manning? By itself, it does not, but it does mean Texas will not have a path to his signature greased by a decades-long family friendship.

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Manning is not expected to make a decision soon. Georgia, Ole Miss and many other schools are trying to supplant the Crimson Tide as the top contender.