Spencer Petras Invited, Turns Heads at Manning Passing Academy

Petras Invited to Manning Passing Academy

Spencer Petras Invited to Manning Passing Academy

Last weekend, the 26th annual Manning Passing Academy took place on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The event is hosted by the Manning family: Archie, Cooper, Peyton, and Eli Manning. Every year, the academy invites several current college quarterbacks to serve as councilors and participate in showcases throughout the weekend. This year, Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras was among the 40-plus quarterbacks invited to the Manning Passing Academy. He joined the company of quarterbacks including Bryce Young, Will Levis, and CJ Stroud

The Showcase Events

Each of the college quarterbacks invited to the camp had an opportunity to throw in two showcase events. The first event was Friday, and the second was on Saturday. During the technique drills, Petras’ passes were showing great pop out of his hand. While working out in red-zone offense situations, the fifth-year Iowa quarterback dropped back into the pocket with Peyton Manning standing just behind him. Manning was shouting tips his way during live action. Petras showed great footwork on his short drop-back plays. He then fired accurate passes to his receivers on drag routes across the end zone. His passes were met with positive feedback from the Hall of Fame quarterback. 

During the Friday Night Lights event under the lights, Petras unleashed a deep ball of more than 75 yards to hit a receiver in stride in the end zone. The pass was met with a roar from the other quarterbacks and fans alike. The Manning brothers stood in the backfield nodding their heads at the toss. The profile on Petras has always noted his big arm and zip to his throws. Through his four years at Iowa and now into his fifth, the California native has continued to strengthen his arm and improve his mechanics. At the Manning Passing Academy, Petras put those traits on display in front of the nation’s best quarterbacks. 

Offseason Improvements

The Hawkeyes have not officially named their starting quarterback for this fall. However, in all likelihood, it will be Petras trotting out for the first snap of the season against South Dakota State. This offseason, Petras worked with quarterback trainer Tony Racioppi. They worked together for about two weeks and focused on more than just throwing the football. This included mobility and footwork drills, as well as balance in order to improve Petras’ elusiveness in the pocket. One of his areas of struggle last season was evading pressure and plays collapsing in the backfield. This was a combination of an inexperienced offensive line, and a deficiency in his scrambling. However, Racioppi said that this summer, Petras is looking better than he has ever looked. He noted that the Hawkeye quarterback is down seven to eight pounds, and has shown great improvements in his footwork mechanics. 

Petras’ Opportunity This Fall

Petras finished the 2021 season with 1,874 yards, 10 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He was also sacked 25 times which was good for third-most in the Big Ten last season. However, he led the Hawkeyes to 10 wins and a conference title game appearance. With improvements to Petras’ pocket mobility and a more veteran offensive line unit this year, it’s likely the sack number comes down in 2022. More time in the pocket will give the fifth-year quarterback a better opportunity to use his talented arm and deliver more accurate passes. Petras has one of the better arms in the conference and can spin it with the best in the country. Do not overlook his invitation to the Manning Passing Academy. During his workout sessions in Thibodaux, Petras showed why he was invited to compete with the nation’s top quarterbacks.

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