The Colts Influence
The Colts Influence
Peyton Manning in High School Isidore
entered high school a hot commodity.
He left an
even hotter one.
the most-sought after quarterback in the nation coming out of high
school. At Isidore Newman High School (New
he started three consecutive seasons at quarterback. As a senior he
was named Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player of the Year.
Newman High School in New Orleans, Manning started three consecutive
seasons at quarterback (#14) for Newman's head football coaches Tony
Reginelli and Keefe Hecker.
opposing defenses with his arm, recording a 34-5 record as a starter.
He passed for 7,207 yards, completing 59.4 percent of his passes with
senior season, Peyton was named Gatorade Circle of Champions National
Player of the Year and was the number one recruited quarterback in
He was the
93-94 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Louisiana.
was in high school, his father, Archie Manning, was a star
quarterback with the New Orleans Saints and was the color commentator
for the team's radio station.
frequently went to the Saints off-season practices & Peyton; at
the age of 15, along with Cooper and Eli, would occasionally tag along.
Saints coach from 1986-96, let Peyton join the workouts & throw
to the Saints receivers as they ran their plays.
was actually Peyton's Coach for The Indianapolis Colts (1998-2001)
striking isn't that Peyton was throwing footballs to NFL receivers
while he was just barely a high school junior. What's striking is
that he fit in. Everyone at the practices, the players, coaches and
Mora knew they were seeing the beginning stages of a great
quarterback. Not surprisingly, considering he grew up the son of a
legendary NFL quarterback, that's all Peyton ever wanted to do.
also a high achiever in the classroom. His parents stressed education
above all else, and he happily complied. A hard-working student, he
rarely brought home a report card with anything but A's.
just as hard when it came to football. He watched film religiously,
usually of pro games, and also hit the weight room. The teenager was
developing as a player in ways foreign to most kids his age. Eli
still remembers how much his hands hurt after having a catch with
Peyton. His older brother always rifled the ball with amazing velocity.
older brother, Cooper was the source of part of Peyton's competitive
fire. The two waged regular battles, fighting over who was better,
smarter or tougher. Despite their sibling rivalry, however, deep down
they admired each other immensely.
Peyton won the starting quarterback job at Newman as a sophomore
1991, it was Cooper who paved the way. Cooper switched to receiver
his senior year, even though he was set to call the signals for the
Greenies, the defending Class 2A state champs. The move paid big dividends.
his rigorous film study habits.
the season opener, Peyton completed nine passes to Cooper in the
first half alone. Newman went on to a 12-2 record and advanced to the
semifinals of the playoffs.
to Haynesville High 27-21 in the Louisiana Class 2A state semifinals.
the year, Peyton threw for 23 touchdowns, a baker's dozen to his
brother. To this day, he says he has never had more fun on the
completed 140 of 230 passes for 2,142 yards and 23 TDs.
older brother, Cooper, was a senior and caught 73 passes for 1,250
yards and 13 touchdowns from Peyton.
recruited heavily and had accepted a scholarship to Ole Miss, their
father's alma mater, but was diagnosed
with spinal stenosis before his freshman year which ended his
devastated. He wrote a letter to his brother telling him just how he felt.
passing for 2,345 yards and 30 touchdowns in his junior season,
Peyton aims to improve the only fault naysayers can pinpoint. He
begins training in shoes designed to lengthen his Achilles tendons,
thereby increasing his foot speed. His time in the 40-yard dash drops
from 5.0 to 4.8. After watching Peyton workout during the summer,
then-Saints head coach Jim Mora states, "If there's any
better quarterback his age out there in the country, I'd just like to
Peyton's competitive nature causes him to leave the Newman basketball
team over a difference of opinion with the coach. While Peyton
thought he should be a starter, his coach didn't.
moved toward a season for the ages his senior year. Connecting on 63
percent of his attempts, he passed for 2,703 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Peyton was honored as the Gatorade Circle of Champions National
Player of the Year and the Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club National
Offensive Player of the Year.
three-year starter, he passed for 7,207 yards and 92 touchdowns.
In August of
1993, Twenty-three colleges call Peyton on the first day of the
August recruiting period, and the Mannings install an extra phone
line. " I honestly don't know where I'm going,"
Peyton says. Nevertheless, the pressure is on for Peyton to follow in
his father's footsteps and attend the University of Mississippi. "Some
of my buddies have called and said, 'You make him go to Ole Miss,"
Manning took heat when Peyton didn't go to Mississippi. "The
whole situation caused some people to break off with me," Archie
said. "I didn't want to interfere with Peyton's decision."
In the spring
of 1993, Peyton is a second-team all-state selection in baseball
after hitting .440 as a shortstop.
his final season at Newman playing in front of crowds full of college scouts.
football powerhouses; the leaders in one of the nation's most intense
recruiting wars were Michigan, Florida State, Notre Dame,
Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Cooper still been a Rebel, there's no doubt where Peyton would have
gone. Still, the pressure on him to follow in his father's footsteps
and attend Ole Miss was overwhelming.
But on January
25, 1994, Peyton shocked a few people when he rejected his father's
alma mater Ole Miss and announced he would sign a letter-of-intent to
play at the University of Tennessee.
doesn't take much crap," says brother Cooper, who played
his freshman season at Ole Miss before a neck condition ended his
career. "If somebody were to tell him he betrayed Ole Miss,
he's the type to get right in his face and tell him to shut up."
Younger brother Eli, a prep All-America quarterback, would sign with
the Rebels in February 1999.
HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS
Major: Speech Communication - Minor: Business.
"There's video. Don't look for it -- it's deep
in the Manning vault, I can assure you," Manning
said during a Wednesday press conference in southern Florida, where
play the Bears in the NFL's championship game on Sunday.
Manning said his performance in the play was proof
that he could come through in the clutch.
"It was a full-on tango,"
Manning had been asked about the most pressure he had
faced in his life. He started his answer by saying that when he was
in eighth grade, he registered for a musical theater class to get out
of a computer course.
A week into it, they said, 'Well, by the way, you have
to be in the school play,'" Manning said. "I said,
'I don't want to do that,' and they said,
'Well, you're in the play.'"
Manning said he was assigned the role of Miguel in a
play called "The Boyfriend." He'd have to do a tango with a
character called Lola, and he'd have to wear black pants, a red
ruffle tuxedo shirt, and a yellow cummerbund.
He dreaded performing in front of his family,
especially his brothers Eli and Cooper.
"Saturday, they were going to be able to be
there, and that was pressure," he
said. "But I did it, man. I studied up.
I went full speed on that tango."
The video of a middle school play that Indianapolis
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning referenced on Wednesday when asked
if he could deal with pressure situations has surfaced, thanks to a
former classmate who now lives Boston.
Click the image above to view the video
Other High School and Childhood Photos
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