Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner spends countless hours at the team's training complex and is always hesitant to miss a day, even in the summer. But he got a chance to attend the Manning Passing Academy for four days earlier this month and jumped at it.
Leidner was one of 30 quarterbacks learning from the Mannings -- Archie, Peyton and Eli -- at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. Leidner roomed in a dorm with Oklahoma's Trevor Knight, Utah State's Chuckie Keaton and North Carolina's Marquise Williams. Others in attendance were TCU's Trevone Boykin, Penn State's Christian Hackenberg and Indiana's Nate Sudfeld.
"Last year was a lot tougher for me to leave in a situation like that," Leidner said. "But this year, it was really beneficial for me, and it was really beneficial for the team because I was able to bring back a lot of knowledge. I called a team meeting the first night when I was back to say, 'Hey, I got to listen to Sean Payton talk, Mike Mayock talk. Guys who are looking to go to the NFL -- there’s some good information for you. Freshmen -- there’s some good information for you about when Peyton first got to Tennessee. There were different things for different guys."
Leidner said he learned several new drills that he and the other Gophers quarterbacks have been working on since he returned. The players continue to go through offseason conditioning workouts and captains practices. They are scheduled to open camp Aug. 7.