Catholic-New Iberia football coach Brent Indest fired up to work another Manning Passing Academy _lowres

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Catholic-New Iberia football coach Brent Indest

The group texts connecting Catholic High-New Iberia football coach Brent Indest to Division II-III college coaches in Boston, Indianapolis, Texas and Tennessee began heating up earlier this week.

For those involved it signified one thing, the start of another Manning Passing Academy.

“One of the main reasons I get excited is seeing the Manning camp family I’ve gained,” Indest said. “There are about 12 of us where this is the only time we see each other. We’ve developed somewhat of a brotherhood.”

The Manning Passing Academy, run by Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, moves into its 21st season with the start Thursday of the three-day event at Nicholls State. More than 1,200 campers from across the country are expected where Indest, who will participate for the eighth year, will be one of more than 100 instructors, including 20-plus high school coaches.

“Sometimes we have to sit back and see what a huge deal this is and how fortunate we are to be able to be a part of it,” Indest said. “Disney offered and wanted to turn this into a gigantic event. The Mannings said Louisiana was their home and Nicholls had been good to them.”

Indest relishes the look on the faces of first-camp campers, who check in and are in awe at the number of quarterbacks, running backs and receivers on hand taking part in the camp.

It also doesn’t hurt to have two-time Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli Manning on hand along with about 30-to-40 Division I quarterbacks that’s expected to include Clemson’s DeShaun Watson, Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and LSU’s Brandon Harris.

“Those kids here for the first time, they see how enormous it is,” Indest said. “They’re big-eyed, fired up. To see the excitement in their eyes is pretty cool.”

Adding to Indest’s anticipation for this year’s camp will be a first for the fourth-year Catholic-New Iberia coach — the inclusion of two freshmen — quarterback Chris Landry and running back Alec Moore – from his own team.

“When I was in school, we were throwing it 30 times a game, which was an anomaly in those days,” said Indest, an all-state quarterback at Catholic-NI. “It would have been nice to have something like this around in my playing days. With more and more people throwing it around, it fits what’s going on in today’s game.”

The first day of two-a-day practices begins at 9 a.m. Thursday with 7-on-7 team competition taking place after dinner Friday and Saturday and the championship set for Sunday.

Moreover, the popular “Air It Out” and Quarterback Challenge is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Guidry Stadium.

“It’s grown so much, probably doubled in my eight years,” Indest said. “I get fired up every year.”