Huard: Luck like Manning mentally

September, 28, 2011
9/28/11
2:17
PM ET
Brock Huard was a Peyton Manning backup for a couple seasons with the Colts. He’s now a college football analyst for ESPN.

In this Insider piece, he compares Manning and Stanford’s Andrew Luck.

He’s not projecting Luck to the Colts, but looking at how Luck as a college senior at Stanford has a lot of similarities to Manning at Tennessee, and projecting Luck’s ability to bring the same cerebral qualities to the NFL.
When it comes to the collegiate success of both Manning and Luck, there is one shared talent that sets them apart from the rest of their peers. It is not their size, arm strength, accuracy or even Luck's underrated athleticism; it is instead their ability to dominate the mental aspect of the game by processing an immense amount of information at a rate that others simply cannot.

As an understudy for two years to Manning in Indianapolis, and having now studied Andrew and called three of his games over the last three years, I've found it fascinating to see how similarly the two approach their position. Peyton would take pages and pages of notes during meetings and film study each week in preparing for his opponent. The level of detail to his approach was borderline absurd, yet it would always pay off -- his ability to regurgitate that data in a split second in the heat of battle was remarkable.

The skill to slow down the moment and manipulate the game with one's mind is one that Luck and Manning both possess.

Luck’s the most exciting quarterback prospect to be poised to join the league in years.

It will be fascinating to watch the league’s worst teams as the season progresses and we project him onto their rosters.

If he winds up as Manning’s understudy and successor, the Colts could be in line to replace Manning with the top quarterback prospect since Manning.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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