Jan. 28, 2010
DALLAS - For the first time ever, the Super Bowl will feature two starting quarterbacks who each have claimed a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award.
Campbell Trophy (formerly Draddy Trophy) winner Peyton Manning, who claimed NFF honors at Tennessee in 1997, will be starting for the Indianapolis Colts while Drew Brees, who was recognized in 2000 for his accomplishments at Purdue, will be the signal caller for the New Orleans Saints.
Manning also becomes the first NFF National Scholar-Athlete to make a second appearance in the Super Bowl as a quarterback. Other NFF National Scholar-Athletes who have quarterbacked a Super Bowl team include Jeff Hostetler (West Virginia, 1983) for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV, Steve Young (BYU, 1983) for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX, Manning for the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, and Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003) for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
"The only conflict more painful than having to choose between rooting for my hometown Saints and the Colts led by Peyton would have had to been choosing between my two favorite NFF National Scholar- Athletes," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, the father of Peyton and Eli. "I have always been extremely proud that my sons excelled in the classroom and earned honors as NFF National Scholar-Athletes. The fact that Drew Brees also achieved a similar level of academic success sends a powerful message to our young people that you don't have to sacrifice your classroom work to make it to the Super Bowl."
Peyton Manning is also one of only two individuals to claim the NFF's Campbell Trophy, college football's premier scholar-athlete award, and to appear in a Super Bowl. Campbell Trophy winner Matt Sinchcomb (Georgia, 1998) played for the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Matt is the brother of Jon, who is playing in this year's game for the Saints.
Manning finished his illustrious UT career holding 42 NCAA, SEC and Tennessee records. He won the Maxwell Award as the nation's most outstanding player, the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Player of the Year honors his senior season, securing his consensus All-America status in 1997.
The New Orleans native became the fourth player in NCAA history to pass for 11,000 yards and threw for more than 300 yards in 18 different games.
Thus far during a 12-year NFL career, all with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning already has topped the 50,000-yard passing mark and likely will challenge every major career passing record before his playing days are through.
He just became the first four-time recipient of the NFL's Most Valuable Player award and is preparing to lead the Colts into their second Super Bowl appearance in four seasons. Manning was MVP of Super Bowl XLI after a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Launched in 1959, The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post graduate scholarships for combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. Each NFF National Scholar-Athlete receives an $18,000 scholarship for his post-graduate studies. A total of $9.2 million has been disbursed to 724 top athletes since the program's inception. The Campbell Trophy, added in 1990 as the centerpiece of the NFF scholar-athlete program, was formerly known as the Draddy Trophy until 2009 and is endowed by the HealthSouth Corporation. It selects one member of the National Scholar-Athlete Class as the absolute best in the nation.