Is there a quarterback controversy in Austin? Not likely, but backup Arch Manning is reminding Texas football fans why he was widely considered the No. 1 recruit in the 2023 class. He is also giving them another appetizer of what is to come in the future.

Manning put on a passing clinic in the Longhorns' Orange-White spring game, displaying supreme poise in the pocket while also showcasing his lauded arm talent. The sophomore QB, who represented the White squad behind Quinn Ewers, effortlessly threw an exquisite deep pass to wide receiver DeAndre Moore for a 75-yard touchdown.

The crowd erupted but was probably inwardly stressing out after witnessing such lax defensive coverage. Either way, Manning and the offense executed a brilliant play to put their squad on the board.

The 18-year-old continued to electrify Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, fearlessly sending a ball across the middle to running back Jaydon Blue for another score in the second quarter. He started 5-for-5 for 133 passing yards and two TDs. But he was far from finished.

Manning hit Alabama transfer Isaiah Bond in stride for what was stunningly his second 75-yard touchdown dime of the game, giving his team a lead late in the fourth quarter. White ultimately fell to Orange, 35-34, but the biggest takeaway from this Texas football scrimmage undeniably came from the losing side.

The skepticism surrounding college's most famous second-stringer is surely starting to dissipate after this terrific showing. “The ‘Arch Manning is overrated' crowd is currently making a hard pivot away from last year’s scrimmage as their main talking point,” J.D. Pickell of On3 posted on X.

A failed Hail Mary attempt in the final seconds, which resulted in an interception, was the only real blemish in what was Arch Manning's coming out party. After completing 19-of-25 passes for 355 yards and three TDs, there is bound to be plenty of chatter.

Arch Manning's talent is becoming harder to deny

As stated before, there is little question of who Texas' starting quarterback will be at the start of the 2024-25 season. Quinn Ewers earned that privilege after leading the Longhorns to a Big 12 title and the College Football Playoff last year.

Though, that does not mean his spot atop the depth chart will be unchallenged all seasonlong. Rarely do prospects of Manning's caliber have to wait until their junior campaign before really getting to showcase their abilities. With Texas now joining a conference historically renown for its defense, head coach Steve Sarkisian might be inclined to have a quick trigger finger.

A potential benching would obviously be devastating for Ewers, on both a personal and career level, but Manning might force the program to at least ponder their QB situation. While some will claim he is riding the coattails of his uncles' legacies, the skill is inarguable.

Texas football has much to be excited for

Although there is more for Arch Manning to polish in his game, this teenager is starting to look the part of a phenom. The Orange-White scrimmage is not going to cause Texas football to abruptly revamp their plans. Ewers' pick-six in the first quarter will probably not be used against him, and Manning's near-heroics will not instantly earn him the N0. 1 slot.

However, an interesting narrative could be brewing at some point in 2024, and if it does, people will instinctively recall this April exhibition. For now, though, it is business as usual. Texas football fans should just be grateful for the bright days that are expected to light up San Jacinto Boulevard in the next couple of years.

An abundance of riches is not something this team has been able to brag about for much of the last decade. The Longhorns community would be wise to really savor this moment.