Josh Kendall

‘It was kind of strange’: Jake Bentley, Peyton Manning have a coaching connection

Jake Bentley hadn’t met Peyton Manning until this week, but there was something that sounded awfully familiar when Bentley and Manning started talking here at the Manning Passing Academy.

“It was really weird. Everything that (South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt) Roper says as far as his coaching tips were the exact same as Peyton’s,” Bentley said. “Exact same verbage. It was kind of strange.”

There’s a reason for that. Roper was a graduate assistant under offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe at Tennessee when Manning was a junior and senior for the Volunteers.

Manning “just talked about stuff Coach taught him just as far as learning the game, be meticulous about everything,” Bentley said. “He knows how great a coach Coach Roper is and he told me to really listen because he know what he’s talking about.”

Bentley is one of 43 college quarterbacks working as a counselor at the 22-year-old camp on the campus of Nicholls State University.

He is rooming with Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen at Nicholls State University, the host of the camp. Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason, LSU quarterback Danny Etling, Southern Cal quarterback Sam Darnold and Washington quarterback Jake Browning are among the counselors at this year’s camp.

Bentley, who threw for 1,420 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions last year, will work the camp through Sunday and compete in a skills challenge with the other college quarterbacks Saturday.

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