Peyton Manning Warns Against Overuse of Transfer Portal in College Football

Few quarterbacks embody their former football programs quite like Eli and Peyton Manning, who are forever associated with Ole Miss and Tennessee respectively. Recently, the brothers stood next to their father Archie, himself an Ole Miss legend, and their brother Cooper at the Manning Passing Academy. They welcomed reporters into the Century Room at Nicholls State’s Guidry Stadium, where something remarkable became apparent: the sport has changed since the Mannings left college football.

The room was filled with quarterbacks who represented programs where they never started their college career. LSU’s Jayden Daniels, for instance, began at Arizona State. Kentucky’s Devin Leary started at NC State. Illinois’ Luke Altmyer spent two years at Ole Miss. Another attendee, Michael Penix Jr., entered Washington via Indiana. Joe Milton III is poised to start at Tennessee after transferring from Michigan. This newfound fluidity is largely due to the growing influence of the transfer portal.

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Peyton Manning, one of the Manning brothers, shared his thoughts on the transfer portal. While the opportunity to change scenery seems tempting, he warns that the tendency to leave rather than stick around appears too common. As he points out, a former Manning Passing Academy attendee who’s already on their fourth school probably isn’t having the best experience. “At least for me,” Manning said, “I was very thorough, took all my visits and really tried to analyze it. You pray about it. You make a decision, and you go all-in on that decision. There are lots of individual cases. I can’t speak for everybody. I want the kids to have a good college football experience.”

It’s easy to forget that the coaches play a role in this too. They must recruit high school and transfer talent while also retaining the players already on their roster. Eli Manning, who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants after his four years in Oxford, stressed that point. According to him, the transfer portal has its good and bad sides. On the one hand, it delivers new opportunities for players to find the right college team. On the other hand, it might be contributing to a player-culture that’s too quick to leave.

The Manning Passing Academy is a hallmark of the quarterbacking community, featuring professional and collegiate coaches that teach and instruct elite high school players. LSU, the hosts of this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship, played host for the camp, with 1,000 campers expected to attend. Peyton Manning lauded the annual event that bears his family’s name, stating that he loves coming to the camp. They’ve met “a lot of great young men and women here over the years.”

Continuing his thoughts on the transfer portal, Peyton Manning stated that he’d like to understand the motivations behind why players decide to enter it. With college sports shifting to grant athletes more control over their careers, students are able to make decisions that will better their situations. And while that change in the climate is understandable, Manning is still curious. “We’re having a lot of conversations in the next few months to try and understand the portal better, its benefits, its negatives, how coaches are evaluating it and what the best way will be to move forward,” he said.

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The Manning brothers are synonymous with college football, and their family name carries weight in the quarterbacking community. When they talk, people listen. And what they’re saying here isn’t wholly negative. Eli Manning stated that he’s happy to see that the transfer portal is working out for some high school players. They’re able to find a place that suits them better and gives them more opportunities. That’s undoubtedly a positive development for the sport. And as Peyton Manning points out, he wants to see these talented kids have a great college football experience.

But there’s another side to the transfer portal. When players switch schools, they’re not just abandoning their former teammates and coaches. They’re also abandoning their former fanbases, a fact that Peyton Manning thinks doesn’t get brought up enough. “That’s something I don’t know if we talk about enough in college athletics,” he said. “These kids are loved and followed at some of these schools for four years, then these kids leave and these fans have invested time and energy following these kids, and they’re gone. That’s a tough thing about college athletics, no question.

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Despite some reservations about the transfer portal, the Manning family recognizes the importance of keeping up with the times. Peyton Manning, for instance, stated that he’s working hard on improving his coaching acumen. He wants to get better, to stay involved in the sport that he loves. “I’ve tried to stay involved with football in different ways,” he said. “One of those is just trying to learn as much as I can about the coaches that are leading teams today. It’s one of the things I try to do through the Manning Passing Academy.”

Having coached high school football this past year, Eli Manning is similarly keen on keeping up to date. He stated that he doesn’t miss playing, but that he’s still passionate about football. And like Peyton, he’s working on improving his coaching knowledge. “I think you’re constantly trying to stay up with the times, see what’s working, what’s not, what teams are doing,” he said. “It’s always evolving.”

It’s inspiring to see such dedication from the Manning family, and to know that they’re doing their part to help usher in a new era of college football. As Peyton Manning points out, lots of individual cases exist in the transfer portal. Each player announcing a transfer has his own set of motivations, experiences, and reasons. As Manning emphasizes, he wants to help the kids have a good college experience. Clearly, he and his family take their role in shaping the future of football seriously.

It’s too early to say what the full impact of the transfer portal will be. But one thing is for sure: the gridiron will never be the same again. Players are afforded more freedom nowadays, and that’s a good thing. The Mannings recognize that. They know that they played in a different era, one that’s gone and won’t return. And while they have reservations about the portal, they also understand the benefits that it brings. The Manning Passing Academy will remain a key fixture in the football landscape, and it will only continue to grow in importance and in scope.

Whether or not these new developments will benefit any particular school or university remains to be seen. But it’s clear that the playing field has changed fundamentally. The Mannings’ advice to young quarterbacks is to do what they did: analyze all the available information before making any major decisions. Pray about it if you have to. Make a decision with all your heart. They want kids to have a great college experience, one that they themselves had, one that helped launch their storied careers.

The Manning family is a true testament to the power of football. For generations they’ve stood for excellence, teamwork, and dedication. They’ve contributed so much to the sport, on and off the field. And as the sport changes and evolves, the Mannings will undoubtedly continue to be at the forefront of whatever comes next. They’re committed to helping young athletes get the most out of their abilities and to having good college experiences. The future of football is bright, and a good deal of that optimism rests on the shoulders of the Manning family.

In conclusion, the Mannings’ reflections on the transfer portal highlight how football has changed over the years. Young athletes enjoy more freedom than ever, but that same freedom can make it difficult for fans and coaches alike. It’s still too early to gauge the full impact of the transfer portal, but the Manning Passing Academy remains a beacon of football excellence. The Manning family will continue to do its part to shape the future of football, and to ensure that young quarterbacks everywhere have a good time playing the sport they love.


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