June 23, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Alex Crockett from Jamestown and Cody Sain from Medina have been named as the 2014 recipients of the Peyton Manning Scholarship at the University of Tennessee.
The Manning Scholarship, which is in its 17th year, is awarded annually to incoming first-year students that have also previously been selected into the prestigious Haslam Scholars program. Including Crockett and Sain, the program has now honored 21 students.
The annual presentation ceremony was held Monday afternoon at the Peyton Manning Locker Room at Neyland Stadium, and Manning was joined by Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek and Provost Susan Martin as well as the honorees and their families. Nora Hassell, the 2006 recipient of the scholarship, also attended and spoke at the event about the scholarship program's impact on her life.
"This program continues to be a great connection for me and my family to this great university," said Manning. "My four years here in Knoxville were wonderful and filled me with so many great memories. I am grateful, through this program, to be able to provide many of those same opportunities and chances that I had to others."
Crockett, a 2014 graduate of the Alvin G. York Institute in Jamestown, was the local chapter president of the National Honor Society and also served as the local, regional, and state 4-H President while in high school. The team captain for both the Scholars Bowl and Envirothon, Alex was the founder and creator of Students Helping Students, a peer group that assisted underprivileged students. He will major in Food Science Technology/Pre-Professional at UT, and he was valedictorian of his high school class.
"I remember hearing a quote from Peyton once that life is about making decisions, first you ask questions, then you listen to the answers, then you listen to your heart," said Crockett. "I never dreamed I would be a Peyton Manning Scholar and would be compared to such a great representative of the University of Tennessee. When I received that award letter, I was so humbled to be a part of this family."
Sain, who graduated from Humboldt High School in Medina in 2014, participated in a wide variety of activities in high school, including many hours of community service each year. His community-minded approach was exemplified by membership in the 4-H club and service as both a mentor for the Boys and Girls Club of Humboldt and as a peer leader for the Tennessee Teen Institute. Sain, who will be a Pre-Medical/Microbiology major at UT, also ran cross country and track at the varsity level while also contributing as a basketball statistician.
"This scholarship is a blessing," said Sain. "With every week comes something new, it just changed my life. With this scholarship, I know people believe in me and that helps me believe in myself even more. With that, I plan to do great things."
Manning, a speech communication major who finished at the top of his 1997 graduating class, holds Tennessee career passing records with 89 touchdowns, 11,201 yards, and a 62.5% completion percentage. During his four-year career at Tennessee from 1994-97, Manning was honored with numerous awards that generated $165,000 in scholarship funds, including the Burger King-Vincent de Paul Draddy National Scholar-Athlete Award, the Davey O'Brien Foundation Award, and the American Honda Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Manning also received the prestigious Sullivan Award, honoring America's top amateur athlete, as a senior in 1997.
The only five-time Most Valuable Player in NFL history, Manning has been named to 13 Pro Bowls, the most for any quarterback all-time. The 2014 season will be his 17th in the NFL and his third as a member of the Denver Broncos (2012-14) after previously spending 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts (1998-2011). Manning ranks second in NFL history in passing touchdowns (491), passing yards (64,964), and completions (8,452).