Archie Manning savors another impressive lineup for 24th Manning Passing Academy

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Manning Passing Academy
(Photo: Parker Waters)

Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning are quite a family. The family name continues to unveil itself in grand fashion in the sport of football.

Once a year, the family gathers together to share their vast knowledge of the sport they love.

The 24th Annual Manning Passing Academy runs this Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30 at Nicholls in Thibodaux. This is the 15th year of the camp in Thibodaux and the 24th MPA event overall.

A total of 42 starting quarterbacks at the college level will be on hand as counselors.

Among the top quarterback counselors this year are Alabama star Tua Tagivaloa, Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, Kelly Bryant of Missouri, Justin Herbert of Oregon, Ian Book of Notre Dame, Jake Fromm of Georgia, Jarrett Guarantano of Tennessee, Matt Corral of Ole Miss, Bryce Perkins of Virginia, Jordan Love of Utah State, K.J. Costello of Stanford, Mason Fine of North Texas and Nathan Burke of Ohio.

A host of Louisiana quarterbacks will be on hand as well including LSU’s Joe Burrow, Tulane’s Justin McMillan, Cody Orgeron of McNeese, J’Mar Smith of Louisiana Tech, Chason Virgil of Southeastern Louisiana, Shelton Eppler of Northwestern State and Nicholls quarterback Chase Fourcade, the former Archbishop Rummel standout.

The one wide receiver coming is Colorado star Laviska Shenault, Jr.

“We have eighth grade through 12th graders who come to our camp,” Manning said. “We always try to staff it 10-to-1 in terms of campers to staffers. We’ll have about 1,200 campers. That’s about max for us. We’ll also have about 80 high school and small college coaches who have come for 10 to 20 years. They are very loyal. They keep coming back, some a long way. The other 40 staffers are our college quarterbacks. We had three college quarterbacks and one receiver in our first year.”

Archie Manning remembers the origins of the annual event.

“It was 1996. Buddy Teevens was the coach at Tulane,” Manning said. “He had a guy named Jeff Hawkins on his staff working for him. It was my middle son, Peyton, who had the idea. Peyton was going into his junior year at Tennessee and he wanted to help out local quarterbacks, the receivers and really help the coaches to improve their passing game.”

The Manning Passing Academy has come a long way in 24 years.

“We started at Tulane with 185 kids. We outgrew that and moved to Hammond for about eight years. The Saints were leaving Thibodaux. They had a 10-acre field besides all of the other fields by the stadium there so we moved to Thibodaux. It’s been great.”

While MPA has adjusted to the advancement in offensive schemes, there is still a respect for the past, the origins of the game.

“We’re still pretty old-fashioned,” Manning said. “Football has changed a lot in 24 years. A lot of these high school kids play quarterback and they never get under center. They don’t take five-step drops. We still do the three-step, five-step drops. We do our shotgun. I think its good for the game. There’s always going to be change. Football goes in cycles. You’ll have an old-timer who will say that the shotgun spread offense is nothing but the single wing. There are a lot of similarities.”

With a full house of participants and the media horde that will descend on Thibodaux this week, Manning sees a bright, prosperous future for the camp.

“We hope to continue this for many years to come,” Manning said. “It has been rewarding, a pleasure, and I’d like to think we have helped advance the passing game in prep football.”

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…

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