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Peyton Manning talks football phenom nephew, Arch: 'He's a great kid'

The NFL legend says his nephew becoming a high school superstar quarterback is "full circle" for his brother Cooper, who had his career cut short by a medical condition.
/ Source: TODAY

There is another star quarterback on the way from the Manning family.

Peyton Manning knows the accolades and attention will only grow for his nephew Arch, who is considered the top-ranked high school quarterback from the Class of 2023, but he hopes Arch just enjoys the ride for now.

"He's a great kid, he loves football," Manning said on TODAY Wednesday. "He's just a sophomore in high school, so the expectations have started very early for him. But he has a great disposition, a great attitude.

"I hope he has fun these next two years playing high school ball. College will come at some point, but as his uncle, I just want him to have a good time in high school right now."

Arch's talent was on full display in a video that went viral earlier this month when he was seen launching a perfect 45-yard bomb to a receiver after flipping the ball in his hands and pump faking it during a visit to Clemson University.

"I taught him that," his uncle Eli Manning joked on Twitter.

Arch is the son of Cooper Manning, 47, the older brother of NFL greats Peyton and Eli Manning. Cooper was a star wide receiver in his younger days but had to quit football in college after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that can put pressure on the nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Cooper, Eli and Peyton all starred at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, where Arch is now the starting quarterback. Cooper earned a scholarship to the University of Mississippi, where his father, former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning, is a legend, and where Eli also was a superstar.

Arch is now being recruited by every big-name college program under the sun, from reigning national champion Alabama to perennial powerhouse Clemson to Georgia, Notre Dame, LSU and Texas.

"It's exciting for my brother Cooper and his family," Peyton said. "Cooper was a great high school receiver, one of the best receivers I've ever had. He and I played together one year in high school, it was a fun year.

"He went to Ole Miss on scholarship, had a neck injury, never got to play college football, so this is kind of full circle for him to have his son Arch being recruited."


Cooper is also joining Peyton in hosting "Capital One College Bowl," a revival of the classic "College Bowl" quiz show that will premiere on June 22 on NBC. The show features college students competing in a trivia contest for college scholarship money in between the Manning brothers trading barbs with one another.

"Cooper's got a great, quick wit," Peyton said. "He's the older brother in the family — has thick skin, likes to dish it out, but can take it as well. But he and I have always had a fun relationship. We kind of had an agreement early in our lives that I would help him be a little more serious and he would help me lighten up a little bit, so that's been a good partnership."

Manning studied tape of the greats to prepare, just like he did when he was a superstar quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

"I don't think I'm a very good game show host," he said. "I studied some film of Richard Dawson, Pat Sajak, some of the great hosts. It didn't really help me all that much, so I was out there doing the best I can."