Nicholls hosts 20th annual Manning Passing Academy

Hundreds of football players ranging from eighth grade to collegiate level arrive in Thibodaux today as Nicholls State University hosts the 20th annual Manning Passing Academy.

Archie Manning and his sons Cooper, Peyton and Eli will host the camp at Nicholls along with several other coaches and mentors for the 11th consecutive summer. Football players from all over the country attend the academy to learn from the Manning family.

The academy’s mission is instilling basic fundamental skills for offensive football and specializes with skilled offensive positions such as quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. Drills that build agility on throwing and catching the football are also emphasized. About 20 acres of property in various areas on campus are utilized, about 25 separate football fields.

Executive director of the Colonel Athletic Association Brandon Ruttley said he is grateful that Colonel Athletics has the opportunity to host such an elite camp.

“The camp brings positive press and notoriety to the University,” Ruttley said. “It promotes the prestige of the University because it’s such a special camp. We appreciate the Manning family and look forward to showing our southern hospitality for many more years to come.”

The academy has had a substantial economic impact on Nicholls and the community for over a decade. Local hotels, restaurants and gas stations make revenue from the many visitors that travel to Nicholls for the academy. Although Nicholls only makes money from residence and dining fees, the amount of attention the academy brings greatly impacts the community.

Director of Athletics Rob Bernardi praises the commitment that Nicholls has had in welcoming the academy with great hospitality each summer.

“To the University’s credit, the maintenance and grounds staff has done a terrific job,” Bernardi said. “Since the passing academy has been held in Thibodaux, the community has really embraced it.”

Bernardi said that he loves the passion that campers show up with from day one at the academy.

“Kids come from all over with so much enthusiasm, energy and excitement each summer, and I believe that’s why the Mannings continue to do the Manning Passing Academy,” Bernardi said. “I give the Manning family a tremendous amount of credit because they don’t just lend their name to the camp. They work with each athlete, which is very meaningful for both the Mannings and the campers.”