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|Manning camps draws all-stars|
THIBODAUX — Eli Manning considers Tiger Stadium as one of his favorite places to play during his illustrious collegiate career at Ole Miss.
Manning, along with brothers, Peyton and Cooper, and father, Archie, gathered together for the 15th annual Manning Passing Academy July 8-11 in Thibodaux.
"If I had it my way I would play there every time we played LSU," Eli said. "It's such a unique place and has a great atmosphere."
The Mannings started the passing camp in 1996 at Tulane University. They moved the camp to Nicholls State University's campus in 2007.
"We try to spend a lot of time with the kids," Peyton Manning said. "Eli and I met up with the campers last night (Thursday) and had a 'Q & A' about playing quarterback."
The Mannings were joined by an all-star cast of wide receivers and quarterbacks. Peyton Manning brought receiver Austin Collie of the Indianapolis Colts with him.
Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants made the trip with Eli.
Quarterbacks from all over the country joined the camp to assist with the campers and also competed in the "Air It Out" session.
The competition consisted of college quarterbacks attempting to hit a moving golf cart from 15 to 40 yards down the field. Each player received three throws and were awarded a bonus throw if they connected on all three passes.
Quarterbacks that competed were Stanford's Andrew Luck, Florida State's Christian Ponder, Tennessee's Matt Simms, Houston's Case Keenum, Boise State's Kellen Moore, Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson, LSU's Jordan Jefferson, Alabama's Greg McElroy, Texas Tech's Taylor Potts, and T.J. Yates of North Carolina.
Potts won the "Air It Out" session after a grinding battle against Simms, who finished as the runner-up.
Potts won the competition, but Simms impressed the crowd with his arm strength.
ESPN's Chris Mortenson attended the camp, and quoted McElroy on his twitter saying "Man, I wish I had an arm like that," referring to Simms.
The Mannings said they personally enjoy the camp because it allows them to spend time with each other.
Archie, Cooper, Peyton, and Eli stay in the dorms together.
"To be here and have that time together is fun and reminds us of the good old days," Peyton said.
With training camp only three weeks away, the Mannings are still humble over the success they've achieved.
"It's really recharging for me and Eli to be around these kids before training camp to remind us this is a great sport and we're fortunate enough to make a living playing the game we love," Peyton said.
Mannings' Colts are ranked No. 1 in ESPN's Ultimate NFL Rankings.
One of the biggest surprises of the 2009 NFL season was the emergence of Collie, who had 60 receptions for 676 yards and seven touchdowns.
Collie recognizes that he is playing with one of NFL's truly great players.
"He's phenomenal," Collie said. "The guy shows up every single day with the same attitude wanting to get better. He demands that everyone put in the work. He's great and obviously you see that by what he's done."
Also attending the camp was LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard.
Shepard made some amazing catches and showed why he is a five-star athlete.
The Manning Camp won't be the last time the Mannings get to visit.
Eli and Peyton have a date on the gridiron September 19 when the New York Giants take on the Indianapolis Colts in the second week of the season.
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