NFL legend Peyton Manning surprised University of Tennessee, Knoxville students, by dropping in on their videoconference class meeting on March 26 and offering them a pep talk amid the abrupt changes.
The quarterback’s surprise appearance in a virtual communications course was a coordinated effort with Manning’s alma mater, the University of Tennessee, and his former professor and advisor John Haas.
The video shows Haas teasing Manning for being late, and suggests that in ordinary circumstances, he would have him run stadium stairs as punishment.
Manning encouraged the students, telling them to keep a positive attitude with the campus closure as a result of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, measures, which forced college students nationwide to evacuate campuses and move out of dorms.
""I realize this is probably not the ideal way you guys expected to spend your senior year," Manning said. “I just encourage you to keep a positive attitude, keep working like you’re doing and try to take a little bit of the extra time you have to accomplish something else or help out somebody in need. There are a lot of people hurting out there during this time.”
The video shows the students reacting after Manning left the call, with one lamenting that she had not put on makeup, and others thanking the professor for the gesture.
Manning played four seasons for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, from 1994 to 1997. Credit: University of Tennessee, Knoxville via Storyful