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How Arch Manning’s Decision to Come to Texas Helped Longhorns Land 5-Star QB Dia Bell

How Arch Manning’s Decision to Come to Texas Helped Longhorns Land 5-Star QB Dia Bell

More than two years later, Arch Manning’s efforts are still paying off for the Texas Longhorns.

The Longhorns made a major commitment last month when American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, FL) five-star quarterback Dia Bell, the 2026 class of 11 quarterback, became the first class pledge for Steve Sarkisian.

According to Bell, Sarkisian’s track record and Manning’s decision to entrust his development to the Longhorns played a major role in his own choice, he said in an interview with On3.

“For me, it was honestly — Coach Sark has a great background as a quarterback at Alabama. Obviously, he’s coached in the NFL, so he has everything as far as coaching goes,” Bell said in the interview. “Obviously, like you said, they have guys like Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning. For me, it was a no-brainer when you look at his background.”

“Knowing that the Manning family was very comfortable sending their pride to Texas was also a factor. They have to know that they know what they’re doing there, otherwise he wouldn’t go there. All of those things played a role, and I also felt like I was a good fit for the culture there. Those all played a role in me choosing Texas.”

As we saw with Manning, the use of a star QB can have a huge impact on the crop of players he chooses to recruit.

Bell has already proven that, as 2026 four-star receiver Chris Stewart from Shadow Creed (Pearland, TX) signed with the Horns just a week later.

Bell is ranked as a five-star recruit, the No. 10 overall player, the No. 2 QB in the country and the No. 1 player in Florida, according to the 247 Sports Composite Ranking. Meanwhile, On3, Rivals.com and 247Sports individually have Bell as a four-star recruit. On3 tops that group on Bell, ranking him as the No. 14 player in the country, the No. 2 QB and the No. 1 player in Florida.

Over the past two seasons, he has completed 135 of 210 passes for 2,246 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions, while adding 58 rushes for 116 yards and three more scores. He even appeared in four varsity games as an eighth-grader.

And if he continues to develop and rise in the recruiting rankings, his impact on the Longhorns’ efforts on the trail will only increase.