Peyton Ramsey was all set to finally meet Peyton Manning.
The former Elder High School quarterback, whose parents named him after the NFL great, is heading into his final college season after transferring from Indiana to Northwestern.
Adding to the anticipation, Ramsey got an unexpected text. It was from Archie Manning, the father of Peyton and Eli Manning and a former NFL quarterback himself.
Manning invited Ramsey to be an instructor at the Manning Passing Academy this summer – an honor offered to the top college quarterbacks in the country each year.
“Of course, I accepted right away,” said Ramsey.
The 2016 Elder graduate and son of Elder head coach Doug Ramsey was not only about to meet the person he was named after but also work alongside him for several days.
“I knew from a pretty young age that I was named after Peyton Manning," said Ramsey. "I think that’s a big reason why I wanted to be a quarterback and why I was a quarterback my entire life."
Ramsey's two brothers are also named after NFL quarterbacks: Tanner after Joe Montana and Drew after Drew Bledsoe.
"I was excited," Peyton Ramsey said, "not only to meet him but to be considered to go down there and hang out with the best quarterbacks in the country.”
The passing academy, however, is the latest sporting event canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s disappointing because you see guys go year after year,” said Ramsey. “Finally it’s your turn. It’s your senior year. You have the opportunity to do so.
“Sure it’s hard, but there are a lot of bigger things to look forward to this year. That’s what I’m hanging my hat on."
Ramsey wanted to go to Northwestern after high school but didn't get offered a scholarship. By graduating from Indiana in three years, the popular QB and team captain could transfer and play immediately. Northwestern didn't make the same mistake twice.
Ramsey was Indiana's starter much of his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons, but he lost the No. 1 job last fall to Michael Penix Jr. Ramsey still wound up playing a lot, though, because Penix got hurt a lot.
At Northwestern, Ramsey will compete for the starting job with last year's starter, TJ Green, who is recovering from a broken foot. Hunter Johnson, who transferred from Clemson, is also in the running.
As for meeting Peyton Manning ...
“Hopefully, down the road at some point, I’ll have another opportunity to meet him,” Ramsey said.