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Eli Manning does not have any direct ties to Penn State, but Chad Powers does. Over the summer, the youngest Manning brother showed up undercover in State College, Pennsylvania to tryout for the football team as a walk-on.
On Saturday, he returned to his quasi-alma mater.
Every year, the Nittany Lions host their ‘Whiteout’, which creates one of the most intimidating (and picturesque) environments in college football. This year, it fell on the fourth Saturday in October for Penn State’s game against Minnesota.
The home team entered the weekend ranked No. 16 at 5-1, while the visitors looked to play the spoiler at 4-2. It was a big game in the Big Ten and the sold-out, well-lubricated crowd made for a ruckus environment.
When a special guest arrived on the field, those in the stands went absolutely bonkers.
Eli Manning sent Penn State’s Beaver Stadium into a frenzy.
As Manning, a.k.a. Powers, made his way out of the tunnel and onto the field, he was met with nothing but cheers. The fans lining the tunnel were thrilled to see their “former walk-on quarterback” in town.
Not long thereafter, Manning was shown on the big screen.
The fans at Beaver Stadium cheered as if he was one of their own, even though Manning played his college ball at Ole Miss and played his entire professional career in New York— as a direct rival to the Eagles.
It seems as though all of Manning’s wins against Philadelphia are forgiven. He, or Chad Powers, or both, are now beloved in Happy Valley. Even the Nittany Lion mascot was thrilled to see him.
While the warm reception was cool, Manning’s daughters reacting to their dad being shown on the big screen was even cooler. They were so excited to see their faces on the jumbotron, it was so wholesome.
Powers is forever a legend at Penn State. His walk-on tryout will be talked about forever and the folklore will only continue to grow if Manning returns in the future.