Subscribe to RSS  Add to My Yahoo!

Peyton Manning - Tennessee legend, NFL superstar

The middle son of former Ole Miss and NFL star Archie Manning, Peyton Manning was born on March 24, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where his father Archie played for the Saints. Peyton Manning grew up in the Crescent City and attended Isidore Newman High School where he starred at quarterback, turning the eye of most major colleges. (Peyton Manning's junior season highlight film.) Most insiders thought that he would attend Ole Miss and follow in his father's footsteps, but Tennessee's recruiting efforts, led by offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, made the difference as Peyton Manning chose to come to Tennessee.

The Tennessee years: 1994-98
Most people, including the Tennessee coaches, thought that Peyton Manning's freshman season would be led by quarterback Jerry Colquitt, but in the first series of the first game of the season at UCLA Colquitt severely injured his knee, forcing coach Phillip Fulmer and the Vols to give Todd Helton, Manning, and fellow freshman Branndon Stewart shots at playing. Todd Helton got the bulk of the snaps, and became the Tennessee starter until being injured during a loss at Mississippi State. Peyton Manning got the majority of the snaps at that point and became the Vols' starter for the rest of his career.
Beginning with the next game, a 10-9 homecoming win over Washington State, Peyton Manning went 39-6 over the rest of his career at Tennessee, as the Vols outscored their opponents by an average of 35-18. As part of that prolific offense under Peyton Manning, Tennessee scored 40 or more points a staggering 16 times in his 45 starts, or better than once every three games. Included in that is a memorable night in Birmingham in 1995, when, on October 14, the Vols ended a decade of frustration against Alabama with a 41-14 thumping of the Crimson Tide, which opened with an 80-yard strike from Peyton Manning to Joey Kent on the game's first play. The win over the hated Tide wasn't just memorable for the end of the streak, but also for a play that Peyton Manning became known for at Tennessee, a quarterback bootleg that put the Vols up 21-0 in the first quarter.
After racking up numerous awards during his junior campaign, most thought that Peyton Manning would turn pro, but Manning stunned outsiders again and endeared himself to Tennessee fans forever by deciding to remain a Vol for his senior season.
Peyton Manning's senior season started with a bang, as the Vols' air attack blasted Texas Tech, 52-17. For the third time in as many tries as a starter, Peyton Manning and the Vols fell to Florida. But unlike previous seasons, Florida stumbled down the stretch while Peyton Manning and the Vols stayed flawless, earning the program's first SEC East title and a berth in the SEC Championship game. Peyton Manning rallied the Vols in that game, 30-29, but injured his knee in the process. The closer-than-expected win might have been a factor, as were whispers of ESPN promoting a different candidate, but in a stunning move Peyton Manning finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting that season. Peyton Manning finished his career at Tennessee holding a number of school records, including wins, plays in a game (70, against Florida in 1996), passing yards (game 508 against Kentucky in 1997, season 3,789 in 1997 and career 11,201).

The NFL years: 1998-
Critics used the close win in the SEC Championship game, Peyton Manning's injury in it, and the Vols' bowl loss to co-National Champion Nebraska to question whether or not Peyton Manning deserved to be the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Thankfully for the Indianapolis Colts, they chose Peyton Manning first over Ryan Leaf. While Leaf was out of the league and in legal trouble within a matter of years, Peyton Manning helped turn around a floundering Colts franchise.
Peyton Manning's Colts went 3-13 in his first season, but over the next 11 seasons the team won 138 games, all the more remarkable considering that the team had a 6-10 stumble in the midst of that run. Without that, Peyton Manning's Colts averaged a 13-win season every year since 1999.
During that time, Peyton Manning broke Dan Marino's 20-year-old record for touchdowns in a season, with 49 in 2004, as well as well as throwing for close to 55,000 yards and just under 400 touchdowns all told.
The highlight for Peyton Manning and for Colts fans, though, was not his multiple MVP seasons, but when Manning led Indianapolis to the 2007 Super Bowl title after the 2006 season, the first for the franchise since the early days of the Super Bowl era.

Getting to know Tennessee legend, NFL superstar Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning reflects on beating Ole Miss
Colts making Peyton Manning highest paid player
Peyton Manning nears 50,000-yard mark
Coming back to Tennessee never gets old for Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning's perseverence pays off
Peyton Manning gets his Super Bowl
Peyton Manning's legacy shows up in kids named for him
Peyton Manning Super at last
Peyton Manning gives UT $1 million
Peyton Manning still fond of Vols
Peyton Manning humbled by jersey retirement
Peyton Manning, family a treat for all SEC fans

The middle son of former Ole Miss and NFL star Archie Manning, Peyton Manning was born on March 24, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where his father Archie played for the Saints. Peyton Manning grew up in the Crescent City and attended Isidore Newman High School where he starred at quarterback, turning the eye of most major colleges. (Peyton Manning's junior season highlight film.) Most insiders thought that he would attend Ole Miss and follow in his father's footsteps, but Tennessee's recruiting efforts, led by offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, made the difference as Peyton Manning chose to come to Tennessee.

The Tennessee years: 1994-98
Most people, including the Tennessee coaches, thought that Peyton Manning's freshman season would be led by quarterback Jerry Colquitt, but in the first series of the first game of the season at UCLA Colquitt severely injured his knee, forcing coach Phillip Fulmer and the Vols to give Todd Helton, Manning, and fellow freshman Branndon Stewart shots at playing. Todd Helton got the bulk of the snaps, and became the Tennessee starter until being injured during a loss at Mississippi State. Peyton Manning got the majority of the snaps at that point and became the Vols' starter for the rest of his career.
Beginning with the next game, a 10-9 homecoming win over Washington State, Peyton Manning went 39-6 over the rest of his career at Tennessee, as the Vols outscored their opponents by an average of 35-18. As part of that prolific offense under Peyton Manning, Tennessee scored 40 or more points a staggering 16 times in his 45 starts, or better than once every three games. Included in that is a memorable night in Birmingham in 1995, when, on October 14, the Vols ended a decade of frustration against Alabama with a 41-14 thumping of the Crimson Tide, which opened with an 80-yard strike from Peyton Manning to Joey Kent on the game's first play. The win over the hated Tide wasn't just memorable for the end of the streak, but also for a play that Peyton Manning became known for at Tennessee, a quarterback bootleg that put the Vols up 21-0 in the first quarter.
After racking up numerous awards during his junior campaign, most thought that Peyton Manning would turn pro, but Manning stunned outsiders again and endeared himself to Tennessee fans forever by deciding to remain a Vol for his senior season.
Peyton Manning's senior season started with a bang, as the Vols' air attack blasted Texas Tech, 52-17. For the third time in as many tries as a starter, Peyton Manning and the Vols fell to Florida. But unlike previous seasons, Florida stumbled down the stretch while Peyton Manning and the Vols stayed flawless, earning the program's first SEC East title and a berth in the SEC Championship game. Peyton Manning rallied the Vols in that game, 30-29, but injured his knee in the process. The closer-than-expected win might have been a factor, as were whispers of ESPN promoting a different candidate, but in a stunning move Peyton Manning finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting that season. Peyton Manning finished his career at Tennessee holding a number of school records, including wins, plays in a game (70, against Florida in 1996), passing yards (game 508 against Kentucky in 1997, season 3,789 in 1997 and career 11,201).

The NFL years: 1998-
Critics used the close win in the SEC Championship game, Peyton Manning's injury in it, and the Vols' bowl loss to co-National Champion Nebraska to question whether or not Peyton Manning deserved to be the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Thankfully for the Indianapolis Colts, they chose Peyton Manning first over Ryan Leaf. While Leaf was out of the league and in legal trouble within a matter of years, Peyton Manning helped turn around a floundering Colts franchise.
Peyton Manning's Colts went 3-13 in his first season, but over the next 11 seasons the team won 138 games, all the more remarkable considering that the team had a 6-10 stumble in the midst of that run. Without that, Peyton Manning's Colts averaged a 13-win season every year since 1999.
During that time, Peyton Manning broke Dan Marino's 20-year-old record for touchdowns in a season, with 49 in 2004, as well as well as throwing for close to 55,000 yards and just under 400 touchdowns all told.
The highlight for Peyton Manning and for Colts fans, though, was not his multiple MVP seasons, but when Manning led Indianapolis to the 2007 Super Bowl title after the 2006 season, the first for the franchise since the early days of the Super Bowl era.

Getting to know Tennessee legend, NFL superstar Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning reflects on beating Ole Miss
Colts making Peyton Manning highest paid player
Peyton Manning nears 50,000-yard mark
Coming back to Tennessee never gets old for Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning's perseverence pays off
Peyton Manning gets his Super Bowl
Peyton Manning's legacy shows up in kids named for him
Peyton Manning Super at last
Peyton Manning gives UT $1 million
Peyton Manning still fond of Vols
Peyton Manning humbled by jersey retirement
Peyton Manning, family a treat for all SEC fans

Features