On Monday morning before leaving for American Football Media Days in Newport, RI, I joked on Twitter that I would not be asking any questions about the topic that dominated the recent SEC Media Days.
Heading to Newport, RI with #Bearcats for AAC media days. Plan on asking no questions about Johnny Manziel at the Manning Passing Camp-- Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) July 29, 2013
That was before I learned that UC quarterback Brendon Kay not only attended the Manning Passing Academy, but he and roommate Jeff Driskel (Florida Gators) were suitemates with Manziel and A.J. McCarron.
"I got along well with all of those guys - they're all great guys," Kay told me. "Some stuff happened while we were down there that got most of the media (attention) about the camp."
While Brendon was not about to share any TMZ-worthy material about Johnny Football, he was happy to discuss his trip to the Manning Academy.
"I got invited at some point during spring ball," said Kay. "Coach Tuberville brought it up to me and that week Archie Manning called. It was definitely exciting.
"Overall, it was an incredible experience to meet
all of those NFL guys, the NFL Network guys, and the draft guys. There were probably 30 of the top quarterbacks
down there from all over the country. I was
a sponge when I was down there and tried to soak up as much knowledge as I
could from Peyton, Eli, and all of the NFL guys that were down there. It helped me this summer seeing how they did
their workouts and what they did with their receivers. I tried to use the same stuff when I got back
Aside from travel costs, expenses are taken care of for the college quarterbacks and being invited provided a big boost to the 6th-year senior.
"It helps your confidence to go out and throw with those guys and see that I can throw with any of the guys around the country," said Kay. "It's not that I needed any extra confidence or anything, but it was definitely a confidence booster and showed that my hard work is paying off."
This week, Brendon joined teammates Greg Blair, Austen Bujnoch, and Jordan Stepp in representing the Bearcats at the American Kickoff event in Rhode Island. Kay's inclusion in the UC contingent provided the latest proof that he's the number one quarterback going into UC's training camp.
But that's not how he's treating it.
"I'm just going to go out and try to get better every day," Brendon told me. "Competition is a good thing - it pushes me every day. It never lets me settle and get too comfortable which is good. It's what I'm used to and allows me to keep pushing myself."
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