Eli Manning may have retired in 2020, but with the help of a disguise – and a ridiculous alias – the New York Giants legend was able to roll back the years and fight for a walk-on spot at Penn State as seen in a new video.
The hilarious stunt, which came to light Monday, was filmed as part of Manning’s show Eli’s Places, with Penn State head coach James Franklin in on the joke.
To look the part of a college student- sort of – Manning had extensive make-up done, including facial prosthetics, eventually topping off the look with a mustache and 80’s-style haircut.
Once at the tryout, Manning checked in under his pseudonym ‘Chad Powers,’ and quickly drew attention at the facility.
‘He’s like 32,’ one player trying out said. ‘Bro, he is not a freshman,’ said another.
If Manning did anything to make his faux identity seem legitimate, it was running a 5.49 40-time; speed was never his forte even in his NFL heyday, and the 41-year-old surely looked slow next to some of his younger counterparts.
Before long, however, Manning’s qualifications became more evident.
The two-time Super Bowl champ unsurprisingly impressed in throwing drills, with Penn State’s offensive analyst Danny O’Brien saying he wanted to sign the impressive ‘Powers.’
At one point, Manning even told O’Brien he had never played organized football, as he was homeschooled and coached by his mom.
‘I watched a lot of film though,’ he quipped.
But the disguise – quite literally – would soon come off.
Franklin gathered the tryout’s attendees at the end of practice and revealed to them that ‘Powers’ was ineligible, asking him to stand up.
It was then that Manning quickly removed his hilarious wig and began to peel off his facial prosthetics, revealing his true identity to the amused and previously skeptical tryouts.
The video ended on a heartwarming note, however, as Manning visited Penn State practice and helped reward a Nittany Lions walk-on.
‘Walk-ons are important, right, you gotta have em,’ he said as he invited the player to stand up.
‘But it’s pretty damn cool when you’re on scholarship right now, right?’
The player was mobbed by his teammates after Manning’s announcement, as the former NFL star posed for a picture with the team to cap off the practice.