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|Manning Camp was entertaining|
These eyes have seen a many of football games on all levels, but never in my life have I seen that many athletes on a field at one time.
I had aspirations of being professional and simply "doing my job" as I went to the 15th annual Manning Passing Academy this past weekend in Thibodaux, Louisiana. That simply didn't happen.
The fan in me simply outweighed the journalist in me as I interviewed the Mannings and Austin Collie.
After having the privilege to interview those men and stand next to them, the best part came when I got to watch first-hand what they could do on the field.
Seeing Eli and Peyton Manning throw the ball was incredible, not to mention all the potential future greats I saw.
Some of college's best quarterbacks joined the camp including Alabama's Greg McElroy, Boise State's Kellen Moore, and Stanford's Andrew Luck.
As an LSU fan, I was personally thrilled to see Jordan Jefferson on hand. Jefferson looked sharp in the skills competition as his accuracy was on target.
The only problem was Jefferson wasn't throwing under pressure.
Everyone knows that Jefferson has the skills to be a great quarterback. He has speed, athletic ability, and a rocket for an arm.
It's what Jefferson lacks that drives any football fan up the wall. Jefferson lacks awareness and clock management skills. After ripping Jefferson, I will say this — Saturday was another example that if Jefferson puts his mind to it, he can be great.
Another big part of LSU's offense joined the camp as wide receiver Russell Shepard was in attendance. Shepard looked outstanding and made some brilliant catches.
Shepard showed why he's a five-star athlete at the camp, and the LSU coaching staff has to get him the football.
I'm usually not too optimistic these days when it comes to the coaching staff for LSU, but with the newly-acquired wide receiver coach Billy Gonzales, I have some hope. That hope is Gonzales using Shepard like he used Percy Harvin at Florida.
The crowd at Nicholls State appreciated the talent, even if they did greet Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy with a chorus of boos.
McElroy has a cocky approach to the game, but as Ric Flair would say, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man." And right now, he's the reigning champ.
As if the SEC wasn't scary enough, watch out for a guy named Matt Simms this season.
Simms is the quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers and he possessed the "wow" factor at the camp.
He was runner-up in the passing skills competition to Texas Tech's Taylor Potts, but Simms has got a rocket for an arm. He was throwing the ball like Brett Favre, just firing it in there.
I was disappointed in Boise State's Kellen Moore. For a quarterback of a potential national championship team, his arm was subpar. But he showed great leadership skills.
The Manning Camp was everything I thought it would be and more.
The Mannings brought in great talent and coaches to teach, and more importantly they shared their passion for the game with the kids.
Eli was calm and cool, Peyton was perfect and demanded perfect, and Cooper was the jokester everyone loved to be around.
If you're a high school quarterback or receiver, I recommend the camp because you're not going to find a better guy to learn from than Peyton Manning.
After all, when it comes to football, there's not a more prestigious family name than Manning.
Jake Martin is a summer intern with the Concordia Sentinel. He will be a sophomore at Nicholls State University this upcoming school year and serve as Sports Editor of the Nicholl's Worth, the school's weekly newspaper.
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