Back in 2014, a pair of quarterbacks from Central-O’ahu captured offensive player of the year honors in both divisions of the OIA. Four years later, the touchdown tossing tandem took part in the most coveted quarterback-camp in the country.
Mililani graduate and UCF junior McKenzie Milton and Ole Miss senior Jordan Ta’amu were invited to the 23rd-annual Manning Passing Academy this past weekend in Louisiana. The camp brings in dozens of current collegiate players as camp counselors. It’s a premier offensive-skill-position clinic for preps from around the country.
One of the perks of being on the staff is an allotted time to train with Peyton, Eli, and Archie Manning. It’s an experience of a lifetime for some born-and-raised Hawaii guys.
“Yeah it’s been special,” said Milton. “I got the chance to meet Peyton, Eli, and Archie yesterday. They’re just a special group of guys. They’re bringing some special athletes out here from all over the country. We get to help out some high school kids and kind of show them the ropes and it’s been a lot of fun.”
“Just representing Hawaii is always a big thing,” said Ta’amu. “Always a big thing for us kids, coming out here, proving that we as Ole Miss or UCF guys, just being top quarterback players. And just giving the kids hope and stuff. They can come out here and they can compete with the kids out here.”
“It’s special, you know, Jordan’s come a long way from being at Pearl City to going to a JuCo,” said Milton. “Him and I, we trained at HOP going into his last year at JuCo and to see where he’s come from then to now is unbelievable. I think he’ll be a high draft pick next year. I’m extremely proud of him. You know, I’m rooming with him. It’s like old times. It’s been fun.”
Recently, Sports Illustrated listed the top-100 players in college football for 2018. Milton was 13th and Ta’amu, number 76.
Saint Louis graduate and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was listed at 84th.
Stanford OL Nate Herbig, another Saint Louis grad, is listed at No. 88.