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Peyton Manning Scrapbook

   Timeline     Peyton Manning   

March 24, 1976
Peyton Williams Manning is born in New Orleans, La. He's welcomed by proud parents, Archie and Olivia, and two-year-old brother, Cooper. Archie, a former University of Mississippi and New Orleans Saints quarterback, and Olivia, a former Ole Miss homecoming queen, married in 1971.

After Saints practices, Archie comes home and organizes football games for his two sons and their friends in his backyard. He often films the contests with a camcorder to simulate a national television broadcast, complete with pre-game introductions where the kids state their names, ages, favorite football players and teams. A young Peyton steps up and says, to the amusement of all present, "Peyton Manning. Age of four. And my favorite team is Wes Chandler." According to legend, four-year-old Peyton could execute a seven-step drop back pass. As kids, the brothers Manning are frequent locker room guests at Saints home games, getting to fraternize with their favorite NFL players. "We'd hang around with all these naked guys and it was perfectly normal ," Peyton recalls.

January 3, 1981
Youngest brother Elisha is born into the Manning family.
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At age nine, Peyton is a football fanatic. As a youngster he listens to tapes of his father's collegiate games at Mississippi and can name all starters from the 1969 squad. "I would love to have played in the '60's," he says later. "Now that would have been fun."

Fall 1991
A sophomore at Isidore Newman prep school, Peyton begins his rigorous film study habits. As the starting quarterback, he teams with Cooper, the team's standout receiver, to lead the Greenies to a 12-2 season. Newman loses to Haynesville High 27-21 in the Louisiana Class 2A state semifinals.
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After passing for 2,345 yards and 30 touchdowns in his junior season, Peyton aims to improve the only fault naysayers can pinpoint. He begins training in shoes designed to lengthen his Achilles tendons, thereby increasing his foot speed. His time in the 40-yard dash drops from 5.0 to 4.8. After watching Peyton workout during the summer, then-Saints head coach Jim Mora states, "If there's any [better] quarterback his age out there in the country, I'd just like to see him." That winter, Peyton's competitive nature causes him to leave the Newman basketball team over a difference of opinion with the coach. While Peyton thought he should be a starter, his coach didn't. In the spring of 1993, Peyton is a second-team all-state selection in baseball after hitting .440 as a shortstop.

August 1993
Twenty-three colleges call Peyton on the first day of the August recruiting period, and the Mannings install an extra phone line. " I honestly don't know where I'm going," Peyton says. Nevertheless, the pressure is on for Peyton to follow in his father's footsteps and attend the University of Mississippi. "Some of my buddies have called and said, 'You make him go to Ole Miss," Archie says.
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Fall 1993
In his senior season Peyton passes for 703 yards and 39 touchdowns and is named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Newman finishes 34-5 in the three years Peyton serves as its starting quarterback.

January 1994
With college football powerhouses such as Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Texas also in hot pursuit, Peyton bucks family tradition and decides to attend Tennessee. "Peyton doesn't take much crap," says brother Cooper, who played his freshman season at Ole Miss before a neck condition ended his career. "If somebody were to tell him he betrayed Ole Miss, he's the type to get right in his face and tell him to shut up." Younger brother Eli, a prep All-America quarterback, would sign with the Rebels in February 1999.

September 1994
A freshman, Peyton watches from the bench as Tennesee gets off to a 1-3 start.

October 1, 1994
With Tennessee upperclassmen QBs Jerry Colquitt and Todd Helton out with injuries, Peyton starts his first collegiate game. In front of a homecoming crowd of 95,556, he leads the Vols to a 10-9 victory over No. 17 Washington State. Peyton completes seven of 14 passes. "I remember my first start," says Archie. "I was a sophomore and it was against Memphis State. The Tigers' defense wasn't nearly as good as Washington State's."
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Dec. 30, 1994
Peyton passes for 189 yards and one touchdown in the Volunteers' 45-23 Gator Bowl win over Virginia Tech. He is named SEC Freshman of the Year.

September 16, 1995
In the week leading up to a matchup with rival Florida, Peyton takes it upon himself to watch 20 more hours of game tape than he's required to view. It doesn't help. Florida pummels Tennessee 62-37 in the third game of Peyton's sophomore campaign, spoiling hopes of a perfect season.
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January 1, 1996
After finishing the regular season 10-1, Tennessee rings in the New Year with a 20-14 win over Ohio State in the Florida Citrus Bowl. Peyton's final stats on the year: 22 touchdown passes, 954 yards passing and just four interceptions.


Photographs; courtesy of Olivia Manning, courtesy Archie Manning, Bill Frakes (2), Damina Strohmeyer, John Biever