High school and middle school quarterbacks gather once a year at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana for the Manning Passing Academy.
To teach and lead the young athletes, 35 collegiate quarterbacks are invited to the camp. Temple University graduate student Frank Nutile was selected to teach football fundamentals at the camp run by football superstars Eli and Peyton Manning.
Nutile played the role of student-teacher at the academy. In the mornings, he helped the quarterbacks through different drills. By the afternoon, he competed against the other collegiate quarterbacks under the watchful eyes of the Super Bowl champions, who own and operate the camp with their brother Cooper and their father Archie.
Nutile spent the camp honing his leadership skills. By guiding players through drills, Nutile said he learned how to communicate better with younger athletes, and hopes to translate those experiences to Temple, he added.
Transitioning into the second year under coach Geoff Collins, Nutile said he has helped many of the younger players reach their potential.
“It helped me to be a person people look up to,” Nutile said. “I feel like I am a better leader because over the course of the offseason I really learned when to step up as a leader and became a lot more comfortable saying what I see.”
Nutile said he’s a player who loves to watch film to get better, and being around the Mannings helped. Former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler said in 2013 that Peyton Manning used his photographic memory while watching film. During Osweiler’s rookie season in 2012, he said Manning could recall plays from 2004.
“I listened to every single word they said,” Nutile said. “I tried to ask as many questions as possible about watching film and everything else.”
Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude praised Nutile’s ability to break down film.
“Frank is extremely hard on himself and really competitive,” Patenaude said. “He is going to watch the film and will text me or another coach and say, ‘I did this wrong. I will get it corrected.’ He is very conscious when he watches film, and that gets him better.”
Before the start of preseason camp, Collins said he wanted a physical team that holds itself accountable, and Nutile is the biggest part of that mindset. In March, Nutile was awarded the No. 8 jersey. Single-digit numbers signify toughness within the Owls’ program.
The last quarterback to wear No. 8, Phillip Walker, played through injuries to win the American Athletic Conference Championship in 2016.
“If your quarterback, the face of your program, is a true tough guy, then you will probably have a tough football team,” Collins said. “Frank is that. He is tough. He is a great leader, he’s a great teammate. And for our team to feel so strongly about him to give him a single-digit that early, I think is special.”
The Owls look up to Nutile for his leadership ability.
“Frank is the guy to lead our team,” said quarterbacks coach Adam DiMichele. “He is the guy our team will be looking to rally upon. He has a stranglehold on this team. He is the heart of our team, and the guys look for him for a lot of stuff.”