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Story Archives: Anxious for Manning camp
|Anxious for Manning camp|
College football is vastly approaching, and I must admit, I'm as giddy as a little school girl.
Without a guilty conscience, I can honestly say that I'd rather talk to college stars than NFL pros. I've done it before, and I'll do it again this Friday at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux.
Peyton and Eli Manning headline the camp, but I'm not going to see them. I'm not going to ask Peyton 20 different questions about his neck, and I'm not going to ask Eli how he can handle the pressure of repeating as Super Bowl champion. I'll leave that to every other media member.
Rather, I'm on a mission to talk to college football's greatest quarterbacks, and most of them should be there. The most notable to announce his participation in the camp is USC's Matt Barkley, also known as the favorite to win the Heisman in 2012. Also, the guy who passed on being a Top 3 pick in the 2012 NFL draft to return for his senior season. Also. the reason USC is a Top 3 team in nearly everyone's preseason polls.
While he's a stud, Barkley's not likely to receive the most attention of the college quarterbacks, because a certain player named Zach Mettenberger will be present. You know, the saving grace for LSU's offense in 2012.
He's the player that has the ability to threaten defenses and keep them from loading the box because of his strong arm and deep ball accuracy. Yeah, that guy.
The media will herd him with questions about the 2012 BCS National Championship Game that saw the Tigers unable to cross the 50-yard line against one of the greatest defenses in college football history. Yes, they were that good. Having four defensive players selected in the first round of the draft solidifies that statement.
And though I'm anxious to talk to both high-caliber quarterbacks, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't most interested in talking to Arkansas' Tyler Wilson. Wilson, who was First Team All-SEC in 2012, is perceived as the best quarterback in the conference, and rightfully so. I must admit I picked Tennessee's Tyler Bray (also rumored to attend) as Preseason First Team All-SEC, but none can deny Wilson's God-given talent.
But that's not what I want to talk to him about. Instead, I'd like to ask him the tough questions. Questions like, how will the offense continue to produce at a high level after losing head coach Bobby Petrino? How difficult is it to lose three outstanding wide receivers? Is it more difficult when you have a potential future star in Marquel Wade getting suspended for an alleged burglary and your star receiver Cobi Hamilton is complaining about the university not taking care of its athletes?
These are questions that I hope to ask on my journey, but more importantly, I hope to return with honest, thought-provoking answers.
I'm confident I'll be successful simply because I'm willing to sacrifice robotic interviews with two future NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks for a down-to-earth chit chat with players that play without compensation. Well, at least they're not supposed to be compensated.
Jake Martin is a summer intern with the Sentinel. He is sports editor for the Nicholls Worth and a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.
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