Arch Manning has long been regarded as the consensus No. 1 prospect for the class of 2023. A 5-star QB, son of Cooper Manning and nephew of NFL greats Peyton and Eli, Arch recently committed to Texas at the end of June.

However, another prospect – and one that could be seen in the B1G in a few seasons – has overtaken Manning in one publication. ESPN recently dropped Manning to No. 2 on its list of prospects behind QB Malachi Nelson out of Los Alamitos, California. Nelson is committed to USC who is set to begin play in the B1G during the fall of 2024.

ESPN recruiting analysts Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill explained the move in a comprehensive review and update for the prospects in the 2023 recruiting class.

With Nelson, we have seen a larger sample size, and the 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback has faced a higher level of competition for Los Alamitos High School (California). He has also developed physically, which has lead to more arm velocity. In our multiple in-person evaluations this spring and summer, our biggest observation from Nelson has been the growth beyond physical maturity as we see a more seasoned leader. His abilities in game, as well as his performances at camps and combines, make us confident he is now the No. 1 quarterback in the class. (Manning is still No. 2.)

With Nelson and Manning occupying the top 2 overall spots in the recruiting rankings, Haubert and Luginbill note it is the first time since 2018 that QBs occupied the first two spots in a recruiting class. In 2018, it was Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields – both Georgia products – who occupied No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.