July 12, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming sophomore quarterback Brett Smith is one of a select group of college quarterbacks that were invited to participate this week in the 2012 Manning Passing Academy run by legendary NFL and Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning and his sons Cooper Manning, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Eli Manning of the New York Giants.
Smith was invited to attend this year's camp by Archie Manning when the two met at this past year's Gildan New Mexico Bowl where Manning was the keynote speaker for the bowl luncheon.
"Archie Manning first spoke to me at the bowl game about the camp," said Smith. "Then he called me a month and a half or two months later and asked me if I still wanted to go, and I told him absolutely. We have stayed in touch since about me coming out there."
The camp begins Thursday, July 12 and runs through Sunday, July 15. It is held on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. It includes instruction for campers at all positions from the high school level up through college student-athletes.
The college players who are invited to the camp both serve as camp counselors, helping younger players, as well as receiving advanced instruction themselves from the camp staff that includes the Manning family, and approximately 80 current and former NFL coaches and players, college coaches and high school coaches. Among coaches who have served on the staff in the past are: former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, former New York Giants quarterback and CBS analyst Phil Simms and former Minnesota Vikings receiver and ESPN analyst Chris Carter.
When asked about what he hopes to gain from this week's experience, Smith said, "I just want to come away from this with some valuable experience. Learning from Peyton Manning, who is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, and the other great players and coaches on the staff will be a great opportunity. I want to retain as much advice from him as I can in terms of all facets of the game whether it be studying defenses in the film room or improving my footwork, really any aspect of learning how to better play the position of quarterback.
"I'm going into it with the idea that I want to enjoy it and have fun, but I'm also treating it as a business trip. I want to see how I stack up against the other college quarterbacks, and represent Wyoming well."