For Immediate Release
July 16, 2013
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Chris Singleton

(BPRW) Quarterbacks put on show for fans at Manning Camp

(BLACK PR WIRE) – Craig Voclain of Houma loves Peyton Manning so much that he transformed his 1992 Chevrolet Corsica into a shrine to honor the Denver Broncos quarterback.

Voclain drove his orange-and-blue painted Denver Broncos car to Nicholls State University's John L. Guidry Stadium to watch the 2013 Papa John's Air-It-Out and Iberia Bank Quarterback Challenge, presented by Wheaties, on Saturday.

The event, a part of the Manning Passing Academy held at Nicholls, gave Voclain a chance to see his favorite quarterback. He was also excited to show off his car, which was decorated with Peyton Manning's No. 18 jersey number on the hood.

"It's an incredible experience," Voclain said. "I've never seen him in person before. It is exciting."

Voclain was among 3,622 fans who attended Saturday's festivities at Guidry Stadium. All proceeds from the event supported the Nicholls athletic department.

Local fans got to see famous players like Peyton and Eli Manning, along with top quarterbacks and wide receivers from both the college and professional ranks, square off in an exhibition showcasing their skills.

Voclain said he missed the annual event last year, so he made sure to make the trip to Thibodaux to watch this year.

"The first time I heard about it was last year when somebody told me about it," Voclain said. "They told me it was in Thibodaux, but by the time I found out, I ended up having to work that day. I said I was going to make plans to see it this time."

The highlight of the event was the Iberia Bank Quarterback challenge that tested accuracy of the quarterbacks, who had to throw footballs at targets mounted on moving golf carts.

University of Miami (Fla.) quarterback Stephen Morris won the competition after getting past the University of Florida's Jeff Driskel and the University of Nevada's Cody Fajardo in the final round.

All of the quarterbacks who served as counselors at the Manning Camp competed except reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.

A Manning Camp official said Manziel was sick and returned home Saturday afternoon. The official wouldn't say if it was Manziel's decision to leave the camp early or give a reason for the quarterback's illness.

During the Manning Passing Academy news conference Friday, Driskel said he enjoys participating in the event.

"It's a good time, and I'm looking forward to competing," Driskel said. "I know the fans are excited for the chance to see us throw a little, so I will be ready to sling a few balls."

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron said the quarterback challenge gives all of the players an opportunity to relax and bond.

"It's a fun competition, and everybody is out there just having fun," McCarron said. "We are not competing with each other for a big trophy."

After the event, McCarron and several other big-name quarterbacks signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans.

One lucky fan who got McCarron's autograph was 6-year-old Cooper Bordis of Labadieville.

Dusty Bordis, Cooper's father, said he is a diehard LSU fan, but he was proud to see a rival quarterback from Alabama give his son an autograph.

"To see the smile on his face, it was worth it," Dusty Bordis said. "A.J. is a classy guy; he really is. He made his dream come true."

Cooper, who was wearing a crimson Alabama jersey, said he was excited to meet McCarron.

"It felt good," Cooper said. "I was happy to meet him. I like their colors. I'm happy my dad brought me here."

Brenton King of Houma is another local father who brought his son Kaden King, 9, and nephew Bryce Cheramie, 9, to the event. He said he couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch famous quarterbacks compete.

"I love to come out here and watch," Brenton King said. "I brought my kids out here. I coach football, and I just love to see them doing things like this in our community. It's great with them coming out and giving back to our community like this. I think next year I'm going to put my kids in the camp."

Both Kaden King and Bryce Cheramie said they are Saints fans who love Drew Brees, but they had fun watching the Mannings.

"It's exciting. I'm glad we can come out here," Kaden said. "It is great to watch them on TV, but to see them in real life is even better."

A.J. Brandin of Buffalo, N.Y., traveled with his friend Greg Daly to attend this year's camp. Daly's younger brother is a participant.

Both visitors had positive remarks about their trip to Thibodaux.

"It's wild; we love it," Brandin said. "The people are very friendly, and the weather is nice. It was great. We are coming back next year."

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