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College Playing Days

Peyton Manning at Tennessee

By

Peyton Manning

Quarterback Peyton Manning #16 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks down field for an open receiver as he attempts to release the ball before being sacked by defensive lineman Mike Moten #90 of the Florida Gators.

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images
The son of a pro quarterback, Peyton Manning was far from an unknown coming into college, but no one could have foreseen the way he would eventually take the NFL by storm. Because his spectacular play has led to many television appearances and endorsement opportunities, Manning has become a household name. But stardom didn't come overnight.

It all began for Manning at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, Louisiana where he passed for more than 7,000 yards and had 92 touchdown tosses over three seasons. He parlayed his performance into a college scholarship, but in a bit of an unexpected development, he chose not to follow in his father Archie's footsteps at Ole Miss, and instead signed to play with the University of Tennessee.

The above photo was taken in 1996 (Manning's junior season) in an early-season contest the Volunteers dropped to the Florida Gators, 35-29. Manning went on to throw for 3,287 yards that season, and tossed 20 touchdown passes to just 12 interceptions, leading Tennessee to a berth in the Citrus Bowl.

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