THIBODAUX — Nestled in the thriving sugar cane fields of southeast Louisiana sits quite a football oasis this weekend.
On approach to Nicholls State University, site of the 13th Manning Passing Academy, the more than 1,000 participants and counselors look like ants engulfing the football fields. Reach the sidelines at NSU and eagerness of the wide-eyed prep hopefuls is revealed.
Not every aspiring NFL star is fortunate enough to be groomed by a father named Archie Manning. This week, kids have traveled from as far as Alaska to get some football tutelage and a glimpse into the sport’s royal family.
Right now, there isn’t a place in the world with more offensive football talent than Thibodaux. Archie, Peyton, Eli, Cooper. They are all here.
“It’s the experience as much as the teaching for the kids,” said Virginia Tech quarterback and camp counselor this week Sean Glennon. “Having Peyton Manning personally tutor you, or Eli or a lot of college quarterbacks I watch on TV — it’s cool for me coming here as a counselor and hanging around the Mannings. I can imagine what it is for a 14-year-old kid to be here. It has to be a thrill.”