JERSEY CITY, N.J. --The University of Tennessee will always hold the No. 1 spot for quarterback Peyton Manning.
But for one afternoon, the former Vol was was a USC Trojans fan.
In discussing his relationship with Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll, who was the head coach of the then-division-rival New England Patriots for Manning's first two season in Indianapolis, the quarterback recalled a favor when Carroll was coaching at Southern Cal.
"He actually did a pretty cool thing for me one time," Manning said. "I was in Los Angeles during the summer in June and I had some kind of commitment there. But I needed to throw. I needed to work out. So I called over to Southern Cal's football offices, got ahold of Coach Carroll and asked if his receivers and quarterbacks were throwing that day, could I come over and join the throwing session because I was getting ready for training camp."
Manning planned to join in on the Trojans' practice, and Carroll told him to arrive at 3 p.m.
But when he got there, he was met by eight wide receivers, four tight ends and four running backs who had already stretched and were ready for whatever the Colts quarterback wanted to accomplish.
"I said, 'Alright, what routes do y'all want to run?' They said, 'No, Coach Carroll said we're going to throw whatever routes you want to run. This is going to be your workout,'" Manning recalled. "That's about as good a treatment as you can get for kind of a visitor to a different team. I really had a neat day throwing. I didn't get to see him that day, I'm not sure he was even in town, but he set that up for me.
"So of course my allegiance is always to the University of Tennessee, but on that day Southern Cal helped me out."