Arguably the most well-known football camp in the world will roll through Lafourche Parish this week, bringing headlines and attention to Nicholls State University’s campus.
The Manning Passing Academy will begin Thursday, a four-day event which will see more than 1,000 of the country’s most ambitious young quarterbacks and receivers come through Thibodaux.
The event is hosted by the famous Manning family, former Saints great Archie Manning and his two sons, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and recently retired future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
More than 125 prep, college and pro coaches lend guidance at the event, including some of the best college quarterbacks in the country – a list that has included names like Johnny Manziel, Andrew Luck, Zach Mettenberger and A.J. McCarron in the past.
This will be the 21st year for the camp, which started in 1996 at Tulane, but later moved to Nicholls – its home since 2005.
Archie Manning said the event thrives in Thibodaux because of the hospitality of the city’s people, one of the biggest reasons the family comes back to the community every, single year.
“The people are what makes the event such a large success,” Archie Manning said at last year’s event. “They are the big reason for why we continue to call this place home. The city is perfect for this type of event and the great people at Nicholls State University have always done everything in their reach to accommodate us and give us access to whatever we’ve needed. It’s a win-win situation.”
Thibodaux and Lafourche Parish win big by having the event, too.
Some of the 1,000 campers come to the city alone, but others travel with their families. As they do, those folks boost hotel revenues. During their stay, they also fill local eateries and shop at local food markets.
A recent study showed the MPA as having a multi-million dollar impact to the area.
Eli Manning said last year that it feels good to know that the people of the area benefit from the event, as well.
“That is something that’s gratifying for us – knowing that it helps those who are here 365 days out of the year,” he said. “We enjoy knowing that we help the economy and other areas of life here in your community.”
The camp is quasi-open to the public, meaning that as sessions are going on throughout the week, there are opportunities for parents or fans to see the action unfold throughout the many grass lots on campus.
But the big public payoff doesn’t take place until Saturday night. That’s when folks are truly able to see some of the best quarterbacks in the world doing their thing.
On that night, the Air-it-Out Quarterback Challenge takes place – an event which allows the public to see the top quarterbacks in the country go toe-to-toe in competitive passing competitions.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be at John L. Guidry Stadium. During the afternoon, the Manning family will conduct a passing showcase, unleashing several deep passes to the talented group of receivers in attendance. After the showcase, the college quarterbacks will compete in an accuracy competition, the winner being the passer who hits the most moving targets without a miss.
Tickets for the Air-It-Out exclusively benefit Nicholls athletics.
Admission is $12 at the gate.
For more information about the event, contact (985)-448-4790.
Posted on Tue, June 21, 2016
by Gazette Sports Reports