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#pounditFriday, June 21, 2024

Alabama holding off on commitments until Arch Manning decision?

Arch Manning running

The Tennessee Volunteers landed a big quarterback commitment on Monday, but there is another interesting aspect to the commitment.

Quarterback prospect Nico Iamaleava announced that he has committed to Tennessee. Iamaleava is a 5-star recruit from famed Long Beach Poly High School in Calif. He is ranked by 247 Sports as a top-10 recruit in the 2023 class.

When the 6-foot-6 quarterback prospect committed, FOX Sports’ graphic said that Nico chose Tennessee over Oregon, Georgia and Alabama.

There is no doubt that Nico made a choice and picked the Vols. But did he really pick them over Alabama, or even Georgia, for that matter?

FOX 8 in New Orleans reporter Garland Gillen pointed out that in all likelihood Iamaleava did not choose Tennessee over Alabama. He noted that Alabama is waiting on Arch Manning’s decision before taking a commitment from any quarterback in the 2023 class.

That makes a lot of sense. Arch is the No. 1 QB in the 2023 class. This is like when free agents who play the same position wait for the top free agent in their class to sign with a team before they do so that way the market is established and they can use the contract as a baseline. If Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia, Texas and any other school Manning is considering leave the QB spot open for him, then that means the schools that don’t get him will have a spot for another QB.

Some recruits don’t mind playing the waiting game if they desire to play at a school like Bama or Georgia. But others, like Iamaleava, might just feel more comfortable picking a less-touted school in order to secure their spot.

In this case, not being a factor in the Manning sweepstakes may have actually helped Tennessee a great deal. The Vols just went 7-6 in their first season under Josh Heupel. They’re longing to get back to the days when they were successful under Phil Fulmer. 2007 was the last time they had a double-digit win season. Maybe Iamaleava will help change that. And maybe Tennessee will be able to thank Arch for the indirect assist.

Photo: Quarterback Arch Manning 16 runs the ball as Newman takes on Lafayette Christian Academy in the LHSAA Div III semi finals. Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. Arch Manning Lca Vs Newman Football

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