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Story Archives: Manning Camp always fun
|Manning Camp always fun|
The Manning Camp has quickly become my favorite time of the year because it's the only time you can find that much talent on one field at one time.
This past weekend marked the second consecutive year that I attended the Manning Camp on the campus of Nicholls State in Thibodaux, and the stars were shining brighter this time around.
I had the privilege and opportunity to talk with Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden, Stanford's Andrew Luck, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and ESPN's Jesse Palmer Friday morning.
I also got a chance to speak with ESPN's Chris Mortensen and LSU's Jordan Jefferson.
Every single one of those guys was down to earth, and I could see the passion in each player's eyes. I could have talked with Palmer for hours about college football, and Gruden is one of the coolest guys you'll ever meet. Both are great at their ESPN jobs because of their love of the game, and it's obvious they love being around football.
Saturday evening, the college quarterbacks competed in the annual Manning "Air It Out Competition" where each quarterback tries to hit moving golf carts.
Luck is a huge physical specimen and looked as good as advertised; Jones looked excellent; Southern Miss' Austin Davis was really impressive; Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and Weeden looked good as well; and Jefferson showed off his strong arm. Jefferson's long balls weren't too accurate, but part of me feels like he was just heaving them up and trying to show off his long arm.
Harvard's Collier Winters won the competition. No, that wasn't a typo. Harvard's quarterback did indeed win the competition, but I also watched Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson win it last year and fail to keep his starting job with Aggies midway through the season. So what I'm getting at is the results of the competition are meaningless.
I will say, though, it was awesome to see Gruden's facial expressions after every quarterback would take their turn. He was standing a few feet away from me and after Winters pulled off the huge upset, Gruden was grinning from ear to ear.
This is why I love college football more than any other sport. The passion, the excitement and the expressions seem to be multiplied times 100. These college kids are playing for the love of the game, not for some million dollar contract.
The Manning Camp does this to me every year. The excitement of each college quarterback there is infectious, and I'm ready to see these guys face off against each other. I'm ready for Weeden vs. Jones, Wilson vs. Jefferson and Luck vs. any team or quarterback for that matter. The season is nearly 50 days away, and I'm finding it extremely difficult to pass the time until then.
.Jake Martin is a summer intern for the Concordia Sentinel. He is sports editor for the Nicholls Worth.
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