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Will Arch Manning lead Isidore Newman to a state title and make school, family history?

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Arch Manning's quest for a state championship begins Friday in the quarterfinals of the Division III Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoffs.

The top-ranked player in the 2023 recruiting cycle, Manning has thrown for 1,675 yards and 24 touchdowns for Isidore Newman, a private high school in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans.

Newman has won two in a row after dropping two straight, including a loss to Berkeley Prep in late October that was televised nationally on ESPNU as part of the network's high school showcase of games.

The fifth seed in the playoff bracket, the Greenies will face off against unbeaten Episcopal. The winner will likely face top-seeded Lafayette Christian, which beat Manning and Newman in last year's state semifinals.

Whatever happens in the state playoffs won't alter Manning's reputation as an elite quarterback prospect with scholarship offers from every major power in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

When is Manning's game?

Arch Manning is trying to accomplish what his father and uncles couldn't at Isidore Newman - win a state championship.
Arch Manning is trying to accomplish what his father and uncles couldn't at Isidore Newman - win a state championship.

The game will kick off on Friday at 7 p.m. CT. As the lower seed, the Greenies will play at Episcopal, which has scored more than 40 points in six of nine games.

Episcopal's defense has been hit or miss, however, which bodes well for a Newman offense that in addition to Manning has a lineman committed to LSU and a tight end with several Power Five offers. If Newman does advance, the semifinals will be held Nov. 26-27, with the final set for Dec. 4.

He's trying to make school (and family) history

Arch Manning and his dad, Cooper, have attended several college football games this season during the recruiting process. Cooper's career was cut short when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.
Arch Manning and his dad, Cooper, have attended several college football games this season during the recruiting process. Cooper's career was cut short when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.

Arch's father, Cooper, was a star receiver at Newman set to play at Ole Miss before injuries ended his playing career. His uncles, Peyton and Eli, played at Newman before starring in the SEC and winning a combined four Super Bowls. The school retired No. 18 in honor of the three standouts. (Arch wears No. 16.)

But no Manning — and no Newman team, period — has ever won the state championship, though the family has come close. With Peyton under center and Cooper at receiver, the 1991 team reached the state semifinals. The 1992 team lost in the playoffs on a last-second field goal. Eli lost in the state quarterfinals as a junior and senior.

Newman also came close in 2013, losing in the semifinals, and in 2017, when the Greenies were unbeaten heading into the playoff but lost to eventual state champion Notre Dame.

Just how good is Arch Manning?

He's the top recruit in the 2023 class and can choose his college of choice — and that would be the case even if his last name wasn't Manning.

According to 247Sports.com, Arch has “one-of-a-kind quarterback pedigree" and the talent to step right into a major role at the highest levels of the Football Bowl Subdivision. At 6-foot-4 and over 200 pounds, he has the frame and arm strength to match his uncles and grandfather, Archie, and a surprising amount of athleticism.

Arch is "probably having the most fun he’s ever had playing football," Newman coach Nelson Stewart told USA TODAY Sports.

Where is Manning going to school?

Bulldogs fans help recruit high school player Arch Manning after Georgia defeated South Carolina at Sanford Stadium.
Bulldogs fans help recruit high school player Arch Manning after Georgia defeated South Carolina at Sanford Stadium.

He won't end up at Ole Miss, where Archie and Eli are legends, or at Tennessee, where Peyton set multiple school, conference and national records. Arch won't choose LSU, which has never played a major role in his recruitment.

While things could change in the next month amid what is expected to be a major run of coaching changes at elite programs, Arch's search currently centers on Georgia and Texas, individuals familiar with his process told USA TODAY Sports.

Playing at No. 1 Georgia would place Manning at the center of one of college football's most talented rosters. The appeal for Texas is largely based on his relationship with first-year coach Steve Sarkisian.

Follow colleges reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Arch Manning tries to do what eluded father, uncles - win state title