Recruiting news: Manning sighting on campus explained; QB on Gators' radar changes timeline

Graham Hall
Gator Sports
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A member of the Manning family stopped by the University of Florida’s campus Wednesday, though it wasn’t the five-star quarterback prospect with scholarship offers from around the country. 

Eli Manning, uncle of recruit Arch Manning, posted a photo with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and College Football Hall of Fame nominee Tim Tebow in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Manning initially led his social media following to believe he had just happened to bump into the former UF quarterback in Gainesville. 

“I was walking around Gainesville today and look who I ran into,” Manning captioned the photo. It didn’t take long for Tebow to respond, saying “odd seeing a Rebel in Gainesville” and “Great seeing you brother!”

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Nearly an hour later, details surrounding the meet-up between Manning and Tebow gained clarity: Manning was filming for the second season of his ESPN+ show, “Eli’s Places”, and the duo were joined by former UF wide receiver David Nelson for the episode based at UF.

Manning’s famous older brother, Peyton, hosted a similar version of the show, titled “Peyton’s Places”, and the duo will continue to host "ManningCast", their alternative broadcast for Monday Night Football games, on ESPN through the 2024 NFL Season. 

Arch Manning headed to Texas for visit

As for Arch Manning, he’s prepared to descend on an entirely different college campus: the University of Texas. 

The Longhorns will host Manning for an official visit over the weekend as they continue their push for the five-star quarterback. Texas, along with Georgia and Alabama, are considered to be the favorites as of now to sign the highly recruited Manning. Oddschecker.com perceives the race to sign Manning as essentially a two-school endeavor. The site gives Texas a 50.3% chance to land Manning, with Georgia coming in second at 44.0% and Alabama receiving just a 2.1% chance to sign the rising senior quarterback.

Neither Ole Miss, where Eli and Archie Manning played, or Tennessee, where Peyton was quarterback, are expected to be factors in Arch’s recruitment heading into the 2022 season. 

Gators going after Jaden Rashada and Buchholz High's Gavin Hill

Buchholz defensive end Gavin Hill (6) tackles University Titans quarterback Tazz Figueroa (9) during the first half at Citizens Field in Gainesville, on Nov. 19, 2021. UF has offered him a scholarship.

As for the Gators, they continue to push for another highly recruited quarterback in Jaden Rashada. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder took an official visit June 7-9 to UF as he prepares to verbally commit later this month. Rashada initially planned to commit June 18 before pushing his decision date back a week to June 26.

Florida, Texas A&M and Miami are believed to have the best shot at landing a commitment from the Californian, though Ole Miss shouldn’t be counted out after adding Rashada’s brother, Roman Rashada, earlier this month. According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Rashada is the No. 7 quarterback in the nation and the No. 45 overall prospect in the class of 2023. 

The Gators are also trending in the right direction for a local defensive line prospect, Gavin Hill, after Hill received a scholarship offer June 15 from Florida’s coaching staff.

A 6-foot-3 defensive lineman from Gainesville’s Buchholz High, Hill is ranked a four-star prospect and the No. 36 defensive lineman by 247Sports. 

Florida will host Hill’s teammate and a current UF commit, Creed Whittemore, for an official visit over the weekend. 

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