Manning’s parody of the PSU QB trial goes viral | News, Sports, Jobs

STATE COLLEGE — James Franklin was part of a parody that garnered national attention, including a Tuesday morning article on CBS News. Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning – wearing a wig and makeup – posed as an extra during the Nittany Lion team tryouts in August.

Manning collaborates with his older brother Peyton’s production company called Omaha Productions, along with ESPN and NFL Films, and his show “Eli’s Places”, focuses on behind-the-scenes college football.

Franklin was on board, but no one else who was running the trials knew about it.

Manning’s wig had long blonde hair. He went through Chad Powers, a 26-year-old part-time teacher trying to make the Penn State team.

He used a country-bumpkin accent around other players and told PSU offensive analyst Danny O’Brien, who chaired the tryout at Holuba Hall, that he played sand football because he had been home schooled. He said his mother was his coach.

During Tuesday’s press conference for the Lions’ Saturday game with Central Michigan (noon, BTN), Franklin said Manning, who lives in New Jersey, initiated the request because the family has a relationship with Penn State. .

He called the Mannings “football’s first family” and added that Sean Clifford attended Manning Passing Academy for several years.

“Eli did a great job with it all,” said Franklin. “He’s also a local guy, so they reached out. All of those things were considered, but ultimately they wanted to make sure it wouldn’t disrupt our process.”

Filming took place on August 26.

franklin said “It only took 10 minutes” of his time, and “They did 99% without disrupting our normal routine.”

About 24 hours after its release, it had already been viewed over 4.5 million times.

“It’s a game,” said Franklin. “It should be fun for the players, the coaches, the fans, the alumni, the community. And while the videos that everyone posts, the trending videos, serve a purpose, providing other opportunities to peek behind the curtain, show your personality, and see these things and having fun is good.

Franklin said Penn State had no opinion on when it would be released, thought the first preview would be more of a teaser, and added that it was “turned a little faster” provided that.

Former PSU linebacker Brandon Bell, who works for NFL Films, was part of the coordination.

Manning told the New York Post that Franklin “was in on it but didn’t tell the other coaches.”

Manning, who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, began to worry that his wig would expose him.

“The wig was pretty, quite tight,” Manning told the Post. “I started sweating a bit, and it kept flying past my eyes, so I kept putting my hand through and stroking it across my face. It was so tight that they bothered me. said when I revealed myself at the end that I would probably want to pull out a few pins first so I could get the wig off easier.

Walk-in drills focused on passing and footwork and timed Manning in the 40-yard dash (he ran 5.49).

At the end of the tryout, Franklin introduced Manning, who removed his wig and mask. Later that day, he met the team and presented punter Barney Amor with a purse.

“That was cool,” said Franklin. “It worked and it was unique and different…and when you can have someone like that on campus, and they can come in front of the team and develop a message, that was a good opportunity too. “

The entire video, as part of “Eli’s Places” airs tonight on ESPN+.

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