From Nick Saban to Kirby Smart, top college football coaches visit Arch Manning's high school this week

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Multiple college coaches will be at Isidore Newman, the school of five-star quarterback Arch Manning this week, his coach Nelson Stewart told The Advertiser on Wednesday.

Due to NCAA recruiting regulations, the coaches are not allowed to interact with Manning and his family on the visits but can visit the school and speak with Stewart.

LSU recruiting and special teams coordinator Brian Polian and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, Alabama coach Nick Saban, offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and defensive coordinator Pete Golding and Georgia coach Kirby Smart are among the visitors. 

"I know they're limited in their interactions (with Manning), but obviously anytime he can briefly speak with somebody or really even have a zoom or go on campus, I think he's really enjoyed it," Stewart said.

Florida coach Billy Napier was at Newman earlier in the week. Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, Texas quarterbacks coach A.J. Milwee and Ole Miss offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. will also be at the school.

Manning is the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2023, according to 247Sports Composite, and is the nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning. He threw for 1,913 yards and 26 touchdowns in 10 games this past season, also rushing for 381 yards and scoring six times on the ground.

ARCH MANNING COLLEGE FIT:How 5-star QB Arch Manning fits in with the top college football programs recruiting him

ARCH MANNING AND THE CLASS OF 2023:Where will Arch Manning commit? Predictions for top Louisiana 2023 football recruits

Ole Miss, Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Clemson appeared to be the early frontrunners for Manning's services. Manning visited all five schools over the summer and for games this past fall. Texas coach Steve Sarkisian, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin and Smart also saw him play in person during the season.

Manning never went to a game in Baton Rouge, despite LSU being close by. But he did make an unofficial visit over the summer and may have renewed interest in the Tigers with Brian Kelly and his new staff taking over.

LSU's new wide receivers coach, Cortez Hankton, is a New Orleans native and was the primary recruiter for Manning when he was the receivers coach at Georgia, according to 247Sports. And new LSU running backs coach and associate head coach Frank Wilson has a connection with Newman, recruiting Odell Beckham Jr. to the Tigers when the talented wideout was at the school.

Manning also never visited Florida, a program he was not linked with until recently. The Gators' new interest likely is a result of hiring Billy Napier, the former coach at UL, who has plenty of recruiting ties in Louisiana. His assistants, cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond and associate head coach Jabbar Juluke, also have long histories of recruiting in the state.

CLEMSON NEEDS ARCH:Why Clemson needs Arch Manning more than his other potential suitors

Oklahoma's recruitment of Manning is also a recent development, as the Sooners had reportedly not offered him a scholarship until Jan. 10. Prior to November, Oklahoma had a commitment from five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson, the No. 2 recruit nationally in the same class as Manning.

But Nelson decommitted and made his pledge to Southern Cal only days after coach Lincoln Riley left the Sooners for the Trojans, a decision Riley made just hours after the end of the regular season. Additionally, Oklahoma hired Lebby, formerly the offensive coordinator at Ole Miss who was an active recruiter for Manning's services when he was with the Rebels.