UVA’s Armstrong makes friends at Manning Passing Academy

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

CHARLOTTE — Brennan Armstrong is obviously one of the top quarterbacks in the country, having led the FBS in passing and total yardage for much of last season even though he missed one game due to injury.

The Ohio native has worked hard on his game in the offseason and showed off his skills at the recent Manning Passing Academy in New Orleans. Yeah, those Mannings, Peyton, Eli, Cooper and Archie oversaw 45 college quarterbacks during the duration of the camp.

Armstrong valued the experience and talked about his trip during an interview at the ACC Football Kickoff this week in Charlotte.

“The biggest thing was obviously the kids camp (there is also a camp for high school QBs), and it was awesome hanging out with the kids, teaching them, going through drills with those guys, but I think the biggest thing was just getting to meet the college guys,” Armstrong said. “It was getting to meet the guys even the guys you play against, and just say hi, because otherwise it’s just hi and by most of the time at games.”

Armstrong said he became really close with Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman at the camp, also Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke, and Houston’s Clayton Tune along with Will Rogers from Ole Miss.

“Those are four guys I got really close with that I just would never have thought of them being friends of mine,” Armstrong said.

Because he is an accomplished quarterback with school record-breaking numbers, it wasn’t as if Armstrong expected any major changes to his passing game or mechanics, but he still picked up a few things at the Manning camp.

“It was more just getting out there and throwing and then just kind of talking [about passing],” Armstrong said. “They weren’t trying to like change anything you do. They were just wanting to see you throw and they put you under a little bit of stress in certain drills just to see how you would react.”

There was also some time to exchange thoughts and to absorb knowledge from the most accomplished quarterbacking family of all time.

“We got to sit down and ask them questions,” Armstrong said of the Mannings. “Mostly film study stuff. Peyton is very methodical at film study. Eli was less about film study and more of just about game planning. So we got to see both sides of the brothers, kind of how each approached the game, which was really cool. Overall it was a great experience.”

Some of the other QBs who attended included Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Devin Leary of NC State, Will Lewis of Kentucky, Drew Pyne of Notre Dame, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Phil Jurkovec of Boston College, Max Johnson of Texas A&M, Stetson Bennett IV of Georgia, Ty Thompson of Oregon and Anthony Richardson of Florida.