Peyton Manning was one of the most focused and competitive people on the field during his historic career. And this dates back to his time in High School.
Peyton Manning had one of the most prolific careers in NFL history. His accumulated list of accolades is lengthy, but includes items like 5x MVP, 7x first team All-Pro, and 14x Pro-Bowler. And despite his easygoing persona, Manning reached his level of greatness by being incredibly detail-oriented both on and off the field.
Peyton Manning is one of 10 QBs selected to the #NFL100 All-Time Team!
🏆 2x Super Bowl Champion
🏆 5x NFL MVP (’03, ’04, ’08, ’09, ’13)
7x First-Team All-Pro, 14x Pro Bowler
🏆 Set single-season NFL records for pass yards (5,477), pass TD (55) in 2013 pic.twitter.com/KXFZK6Huas
— NFL (@NFL) December 28, 2019
And this personality trait dates back to his time in High School.
Manning grew up in Louisiana and went high school at Isidore Newman in New Orleans during his early years. And being the son of star NFL QB Archie Manning, Peyton Manning had a lot of attention on him.
But despite the silver spoon, Peyton had to work extra hard to achieve the level of success he did.
Peyton Manning went from a scrawny 8th grader to an elite High School QB
Manning’s high school teammate Thad Teaford opened up about Peyton Manning’s insane attention to detail and work ethic.
“People make assumptions that because Peyton had all the success he had that he was born fast, born able to jump high, strong,” Teaford said.
“But we used to do a speed camp with the track coach when we were in the eighth grade. There was a heavyset guy who would run with us, and Peyton was running with him. In eighth grade he was probably close to a [6-second-flat 40-yard dash].
“When we went into the weight room, he practically couldn’t lift the bar. It’s a testament to who he is. It’s not where he started, it’s where he got to in the end that matters. I bet by his senior year he was probably running a 4.9[-second] 40 and I know he used to talk all the time about how much stronger he got at Tennessee. It’s pretty amazing. It’s not like he was born with that talent.”
Manning routinely would gather his receivers for impromptu workouts, and it was always with a purpose, not just to toss around the ball. Keck, who was a tight end, remembers the quarterback directing him to run five-yard out routes over and over.
“I didn’t understand that the five-and-out was critically important for spreading out the defense,” Keck said. “All I knew was it was the most boring play ever. You’re going to catch it and go out of bounds or get killed. You’re going to get four, maybe five yards if you catch it.
“I would do it 18, maybe 20 times and I was like, ‘This is so boring. Can we do different routes? Can we do a post or a long touchdown catch?’ But he understood the strategic nature of the timing of that route with each receiver. He was probably working on making sure that as soon as I swung my head around the ball was right there. Meanwhile, I’m just complaining. My feet hurt. I don’t want to catch another five-and-out. It’s just not that fun.”
“He got to this point where he decided he was going to be the best, and he just put his head down,” Keck said. “He out-prepares anybody.”