Thursday, July 7, 2011

16th Annual Manning Passing Academy Starts Friday

The Manning Passing Academy begins its 16th incarnation today at the Nicholl's State University campus in Thibodaux, Louisiana.  The Academy has grown steadily since it was first created by the Mannings as a way to instruct younger players on the art of passing.  In 1996, there were only 180 participants.

Over a thousand high school football players are expected to attend this  year. Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends will be getting on-site instruction from the Mannings, top college players, as well as college coaches.  Jon Gruden (former Raiders/Buccaneers coach and current ESPN MNF analyst) and Barry Alvarez have been spotted at the Academy this year.

The "counselors" to the campers are usually top college players that receive special invitations from the Mannings.  There are 36 starting college quarterbacks who will attend as counselors this year, with eight coming from the SEC.  This year that includes Andrew Luck (Stanford), Kellen Moore (Boise State), Jacory Harris (Miami), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), and Landry Jones (Oklahoma).

One of the many reasons the college quarterbacks attend in such high numbers are personal tutoring sessions with the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, both NFL starting quarterbacks.  This afternoon, the college QBs took the field with the rest of the coaching staff and the Mannings to get some personal guidance and run through drills in advance of the official Academy.

Eli, Peyton, and Proud Papa Archie

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