Before he’s even stepped foot onto campus as an official high schooler, Greenwood native Kane Archer has already racked up 10 Division I scholarship offers from the likes of Michigan, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Missouri.
The 14-year-old quarterback is widely considered one of the top two quarterbacks in the class of 2026 and has even ascended to second-team varsity status at one of the most successful football schools in the state, a Greenwood High Bulldogs program that has produced six quarterbacks with Division I scholarship offers including Daniel Stegall, Tyler Wilson and Connor Noland. It’s the payoff of Archer’s own hard work and the support of his inner circle, but it’s also a testament to the value of travel teams, camps and private QB coaching. Indeed, Archer’s father Adam Archer estimates that he’s spent $150,000 on his son’s nascent football career so far, he tells Nate Olson in a new SB Live feature.
The in-depth article, which published this morning, is a must-read. It’s packed with fascinating glimpses into the minds of a young man driven to become an NFL quarterback (and one who signs a major second deal at that) and the parents who also must sacrifice a lot to help him achieve it. One of the funnier parts is when Adam Archer refers to the overbearing alpha sports dad of sports dads – LaVar Bell, the father of NBA players LeMelo Ball and Lonzo Ball:
“People tell me I am the next LaVar Ball or whatever, but the truth is that if I wasn’t consistently consistent with (Kane) and with my other son (Cash), how consistent would they be?” Adam said. “A measure of success is work ethic and consistency, and if you don’t have those two things, I don’t care how talented you are, you can’t get anywhere.”
So where, exactly, will the 6-foot-1/2 and 192 pound Kane Archer’s path lead him four years from now? The Arkansas recruiting angle is the one that matters the most to Razorback fans, of course, and Olson’s piece doesn’t disappoint in offering tantalizing insight along these lines. Below is an especially relevant excerpt:
Kane Archer and Arkansas Football Recruiting
Proximity (Greenwood is 73 miles south of Fayetteville) also could be a factor with Kane’s home-state Hogs. Sam Pittman began to revitalize the Arkansas program with a bowl win in just his second season.
“The guy just makes you feel at home,” said Kane, who FaceTimed with Pittman and visited Fayetteville. “He put his arm around me and just talked to me and said, ‘Kid, is this something you want to do?’, pointing out all the Razorbacks players practicing. I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ The home state and all of that — it’s not favoritism. It’s your home state. If you can play for your home state, they are going to be one of your top choices no matter what. (Pittman) just makes you feel at home. He’s an awesome dude…”
“That is how he has turned the program around. If he is doing that for an eighth-grader, what is he doing to these seniors and juniors to get them to come? He is so down to earth. I can see how he is good at recruiting.”
There’s no question many from Greenwood would love to see Archer land at Arkansas. While Razorbacks red is common in almost any community in any corner of the state, Greenwood has a special tie with Arkansas, with Wilson starring there as well as Greenwood alums Drew and Grant Morgan in recent years.
Drew Morgan became a standout receiver after first committing to Arkansas State. Grant Morgan was one of the top linebackers in college football last season and won the 2022 Brandon Burlsworth award, given to the top player who started as a walk-on.
“They’re your hometown supporters,” Kane said. “They’re in your back yard. There’s 5,000 people coming to your high school game saying, ‘Woo Pig Soiee!’ That is hard to ignore.”
Also hard to ignore is how much Kane Archer has already achieved at such a young age with the help of a family that includes hyper-supportive parents and an older brother.
Some Arkansas football fans have a “Let’s-wait-and-see” attitude when it comes to getting aboard the Kane Archer hype train, and that’s fair given he still has four whole years to go. But regardless of where his football journey ends, there’s no denying it has shattered all kinds of precedent for young Arkansas quarterbacks so far.
Do yourself and a favor and at least check out Olson’s feature below. It’s well worth your time.
Kane Archer and Todd Marinovich
In the aftermath of the feature’s publication, Olson spoke with Phil Elson on the sports talk radio show “Half Time.”
Speaking of Adam Archer, Olson thinks not of LaVar Ball, but of Marv Marinovich, the former USC football star who in the 1970s and 1980s tried to create the first “test tube QB” out of his son, Todd Marinovich. “Marv stretched his son’s hamstrings at one month old, and had him teething on frozen kidney and trying to lift medicine balls before he could walk,” as Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg wrote. “Marv used Eastern Bloc training methods and consulted as many as 13 experts, including biochemists and psychologists, to build his quarterback.”
“Most famously, as SI wrote, Todd was the least 1980s child of the ’80s: ‘He has never eaten a Big Mac or an Oreo or a Ding Dong.'”
Todd Marinovich spiraled out as an NFL quarterback and has battled drug addiction since then, but Olson sees Archer’s life so far as far more balanced and sane. For one, the Archer boys can eat candy is they so please.
“This is 2022, not 1992 and kids are different,” Olson told Elson.
“Adam knows that and Kane says ‘When it’s time to work out, I work out. When I don’t, I go and have fun, and I’m with my friends’ and the guys he hangs out with know that there’s going to be certain parts of the day that he’s not going to be available. And he may be on a trip to California. He’s not going to be around, but he uses his time wisely, I think.”
“Not an hour goes through the day that he is not doing something, either working out or hanging out friends. I know a lot of the Greenwood players were at their house. They’ve got a nice swimming pool, and those guys came and hung out with him some. And so I think it’s a good balance.”
Olson said the balance comes with Adam Archer being open with his son about the role his Kane’s desire to succeed plays in his own life: “‘We can to help you, but you’re going to need to get up sometimes six o’clock in the morning and go out and throw the football, or run sprints, or lift weights till you don’t want to,’ he recalled Adam Archer saying. “It started off like that in the backyard of the shop outback that they have, working out.
And both of them agreed, through thick and thin, but I think it starts with Kane. He wants to do it. And I talked to him and I said, ‘You don’t resent any of this, you don’t feel pressured?’ ‘No, I don’t. This is what I want to do. And I’ve asked them to do it. I’ve asked them to help me. And they spent a lot of money and I’m very grateful for that. I appreciate it. And I’m going to do everything I can, work hard to make it worth it for them.'”
“And so I think that’s why it works. It wouldn’t work in every situation. This isn’t going to work with every kid and every family. And I wouldn’t suggest that everybody does that, but it was that little spark, the noticeable IQ factor, and then the commitment from him. I mean, he is locked in and loaded, super committed, but I think at the same time, they’ve allowed him to be a kid.”
Listen to the entire interview:
The latest on Arkansas football recruiting here: