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Peyton Manning in High School Isidore Newman High


High School

Peyton Manning 

Peyton Manning entered high school a hot commodity. 
He left an even hotter one.

Manning was the most-sought after quarterback in the nation coming out of high school. At Isidore Newman High School (New Orleans), he started three consecutive seasons at quarterback. As a senior he was named Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player of the Year.

At Isidore 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.

Peyton smoked 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 92 touchdowns.

After his senior season, Peyton was named Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player of the Year and was the number one recruited quarterback in the nation.

He was the 93-94 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Louisiana.

When Peyton 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.

 Archie frequently went to the Saints off-season practices & Peyton; at the age of 15, along with Cooper and Eli, would occasionally tag along.

Jim Mora, Saints coach from 1986-96, let Peyton join the workouts & throw to the Saints receivers as they ran their plays.

Jim Mora was actually Peyton's Coach for The Indianapolis Colts (1998-2001)

 What's 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.

Peyton was 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.

Peyton worked 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.

Sophmore Year


Peyton's  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.

When 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.

Peyton begins his rigorous film study habits.

In 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.

Newman loses to Haynesville High 27-21 in the Louisiana Class 2A state semifinals.

On 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 football field.

Peyton completed 140 of 230 passes for 2,142 yards and 23 TDs.
 His older brother, Cooper, was a senior and caught 73 passes for 1,250 yards and 13 touchdowns from Peyton.

Cooper was 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 football career.

Peyton was devastated. He wrote a letter to his brother telling him just how he felt.

 After 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 see him."
That winter, 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.


 Peyton 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.

As a 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," Archie says.

Archie 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.



Peyton spent his final season at Newman playing in front of crowds full of college scouts.

With college football powerhouses; the leaders in one of the nation's most intense recruiting wars were Michigan, Florida State, Notre Dame, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

 Had 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.

 "Peyton 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.



  • Winner of Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player of the Year award

  • Honored as nation's high school offensive player of the year by Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club, same club that twice honored his father, Archie Manning, as collegiate player of the year while he was at Ole Miss
  • New Orleans Quarterback Club player of the year
  • Rated as one of nation's top three quarterbacks by every recruiting service
  • Twice named Class 2A most valuable player in Louisiana
  • All-State, All-Metro, All-Parish and All-District - Newman compiled a 34-5 record during Peyton's three years as starter
  • Completed 168 of 265 passes for 2703 yards as a senior
  • Also connected for 39 touchdowns
  • Career numbers were 452 completions of 761 attempts for 7207 yards and 92 touchdowns

 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 his Colts 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 recalled.

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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