It's a football tradition that has become known across the country since its founding in 1996.
More than 1,000 high school football players will flock to Louisiana from Thursday-Sunday for the 19th annual Manning Passing Academy
, a four-day camp directed by Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper Manning, that provides instruction for aspiring quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends.
The 2014 camp opens with check-in Thursday at Nicholls State University and continues with various weekend practices and the Iberia Bank Air-it-Out competition Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
, the New Orleans Saints' No. 2 overall pick in 1972, said he never imagined how much the passing academy would evolve. His sons Peyton
are Super Bowl-winning NFL quarterbacks, and Cooper played at Ole Miss before suffering a career-ending injury.
"I always thought it would become a regional thing, but it's turned into a national camp," Archie Manning said. "It's been a lot of fun to watch it grow ... in the 18 years, none of my sons have ever missed a minute of the camp. They're totally committed to it."
The Mannings pride themselves on maintaining a 10:1 ratio of campers to coaches. This year's group of about 120 counselors includes around 40 college quarterbacks, plus high school/small college coaches, and former professional players and coaches from around the country, Archie said.
2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State
highlights the bunch, along with Pac-12 quarterbacks like Oregon's Marcus Mariota, UCLA's Brett Hundley, Oregon State's Sean Mannion
and USC's Cody Kessler.
Florida's Jeff Driskel will be back, and fellow SEC signal-callers Bo Wallace (Ole Miss), Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) and Dylan Thompson (South Carolina)
will join him. From the Big 12, Oklahoma's Trevor Knight and Baylor's Bryce Petty are coming, along with Southeastern's Bryan Bennett, Duke's Anthony Boone, Houston's John O'Korn, Michigan's Devin Gardner, Colorado State's Garrett Grayson
, Temple's P.J. Walker
, former LSU commitment Gunner Kiel
, who is now with Cincinnati, and West Alabama's Kyle Caldwell