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Three-Point Stance: NCAA rules, Arch Manning, five-star candidates

Arch Manning
Arch Manning (© Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports)

In this edition of the Three-Point Stance, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney breaks down another interesting point about the new NCAA recruiting rule changes, talks about the overreaction to Arch Manning’s spring game performance and looks at five potential future five-stars in the 2024 class.


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The NCAA is attempting to free up college coaches from having to non-stop recruit especially in the month of December, which has become complete chaos. But as I wrote last week, some coaches and recruiting staffers I talked to about unlimited official visits – instead of the usual five that prospects were given – were vexed by that news.

Initial reaction from those people was not positive. Even if a certain player can take only one official visit to each school, there could be an avalanche of recruits lining up free visits across the country just because they can and coaches will be put in the impossible position of either hosting them or burning a recruiting bridge, which probably won’t happen.

Another rule that was put into place by the NCAA was cutting the recruiting days available by 37 between the spring and fall recruiting periods. In theory, that seems like a laudable idea to reduce coach burnout and give these people some time away. In practice, it could be anything but.

Sure, there are fewer days allowable but like one Power Five head coach told me last week, that doesn’t necessarily mean fewer hours. So instead of spreading recruiting responsibilities over a longer period of time, they will be condensed into a smaller window. Some things that need to get done in the recruiting office and by coaches won’t go away, they’ll just get squeezed into a more compact timeframe.

The second issue that has been raised by the new recruiting rules – and this has been overlooked in national stories – is that college coaches can be on a high school campus twice during the spring. The new rule limits that to one. Again, its intention is to limit coach travel during that period but what it forces coaches to do is to recruit for a specific position and not necessarily a specific area which is a crucial part of the process.

Last week, the language was salty about the new rules. And there are some well-intentioned ideas here. But after talking to the people this would affect the most – coaches and staffers in recruiting departments – there is still a long way to go.

MORE ON THE NEW UNLIMITED VISITS RULE: For it – Nick Harris | Against it – Adam Gorney | High school players love it



Is Arch Manning a bust?

That’s not a question I’m asking. It was one on a Texas message board following the Longhorns’ spring game where the No. 1 player in the 2023 class and five-star quarterback did not blow the socks off anyone watching.

This is exactly why Manning – and his family – opted not to attend any national events during his high school career and why nearly all of his evaluation came off his high school performances at New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman.

The spotlight is so insane on Manning that one average day means he’s terrible and one phenomenal day, well, he’s a Manning, that’s what he’s supposed to do.

I watched the Penn State spring game and QB Drew Allar had some bad throws. Everyone is raving about Nico Iamaleava’s performance at Tennessee and he had a highlight throw to Ethan Davis down the sideline, but he still only completed 50 percent of his passes. USC five-star QB Malachi Nelson was hot and cold and threw two picks.

Let’s remember: Bryce Young didn’t immediately start at Alabama. CJ Stroud wasn’t the man from Day 1 at Ohio State. They could be the first two picks in next week's NFL Draft.

Manning taking a redshirt year and developing in coach Steve Sarkisian’s system could be the best thing for him. It was probably the intended thing from the Mannings and from the Longhorns all along.

The Texas quarterback room is one of the best, if not the top one, in the entire country. This fantasy that Manning was going to storm into Austin and be one of his uncles immediately was absurd.

Manning is incredibly talented. But seasoning was needed for Young and Stroud, and for everyone else. That includes uncle Eli Manning, who threw 33 passes with no touchdowns and one pick in his first season at Ole Miss.



CJ Carr
CJ Carr (

The camp and 7-on-7 circuit is now in full swing so there will be a tremendous amount of movement in rankings moving forward. There are no guarantees when it comes to any ranking, but here are five guys who will be at least under discussion for five-star status:

CJ Carr: The Notre Dame quarterback commit has drawn rave reviews this offseason playing with California Power and coach Ryan Porter, who has worked with numerous elite quarterbacks during his time. Dylan Raiola, Julian Sayin and Jadyn Davis are the five-stars so far and Carr is right on the fringe.

Williams Nwaneri: It feels inevitable that the Lees Summit (Mo.) North defensive end will move up in the rankings. He’s long, he’s physical and he was impressive this past weekend at a camp in Kansas City. There are not many better junior tapes out there.

Eddy Pierre-Louis: Last summer at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge, Pierre-Louis did as many bench press reps (26) to put him tied for seventh at the NFL Combine that year. And that was before his junior season. The Tampa (Fla.) Catholic standout is a completely dominant force as an interior offensive lineman – and then you see him run track and you just get wowed more.

Charles Lester: Dating back at least a decade, there has been a five-star cornerback in each recruiting class. Some were hits, some were misses, but we took a shot on players because that position is taken in the first round of the NFL Draft so often. Perhaps Georgia commit Ellis Robinson ends up the best in the class or someone else takes the top spot but Lester is super talented and deserves a look.

Gatlin Bair: The Burley, Idaho, four-star receiver caught 73 passes for 1,073 yards and 18 touchdowns and while that’s something to consider alone on its face, let’s also look at Bair beating Rodrick Pleasant and Nyckoles Harbor in the 100 meters in Texas recently. One of the arguments for making Harbor a five-star was his track times and Bair beat him, so what does that mean for Bair’s ranking now?

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