After Texas won the Arch Manning sweepstakes in June, Nelson Stewart, Manning’s coach at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, joked that throughout the recruiting process, he talked to Longhorns quarterbacks coach AJ Milwee more than his own wife.
Stewart, whom the Manning family designated to run point on Arch’s recruitment, wasn’t exaggerating by much.
“We talked every day,” Stewart told The Athletic this week. “He typically still calls in the evening when he’s driving home to see his kids. He’ll call me en route.”
It is that type of persistence that proved integral in Texas’ recruitment of Manning, the top recruit in the 2023 class with the famous last name. Milwee showed up at Newman at 7 a.m. and stayed until 7 p.m. on days he was allowed to recruit on campus. He brought his own video camera to film the quarterback’s on-field work. He built a strong relationship with Manning, the grandson of Archie, son of Cooper and nephew of Peyton and Eli, and gained the family’s trust.
Over the past 19 months, Stewart and the Manning clan have come to know Milwee, 36, as a personable, even-keeled coach with a relentless work ethic. That echoes the sentiments of those he has played and worked for and coached. Once one of the youngest offensive coordinators in the FBS, Milwee is emerging as an invaluable part of Steve Sarkisian’s staff in Austin as a coach and recruiter. And as the Longhorns mull a decision on naming Quinn Ewers or Hudson Card their starter, it’s Milwee who is working closest with them daily.
“If you’re going to be given the responsibility to be the quarterbacks coach at Texas, you better have authority over that position,” said Louisiana-Monroe coach Terry Bowden, who hired Milwee to his first coaching job. “He clearly has the authority and knowledge.”
Milwee’s quarterback expertise comes from personal experience.
His father, Jeff, was a longtime high school coach and AJ “was raised on the sideline,” Bowden said. Drew Noles, who coached AJ in his final two years at Boaz High in Alabama, said he was a “phenomenal” multi-sport athlete.