- Odell Beckham Jr. was once summoned by his high school coach to run routes for Peyton and Eli Manning while he was a teenager.
- Peyton quickly realised how good Beckham was, even at a young age, and rigged the drill so he got to throw to Beckham each time.
- Ironically, it’s Eli who gets to throw to Beckham now, who became the highest-paid receiver in the NFL on Monday.
Odell Beckham Jr. burst onto the NFL scene as a rookie and hasn’t looked back, signing a contract with the New York Giants on Monday that made him the highest-paid receiver in the league.
This was apparently always in the cards for Beckham, who was such a high school prodigy that even Peyton Manning wanted to throw to him.
According to ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, about a decade ago, Peyton and Eli Manning were in Louisiana when they reached out to Nelson Stewart of Isidore Newman School for receivers who could run routes for them.
Stewart, Beckham’s high school coach, sent Beckham and a few other receivers out there for the Mannings and Peyton quickly took a liking to Beckham. From Wickersham:
“Though his talent was raw, it was also unmistakable. Peyton whispered to Stewart, ‘That kid’s a little different,’ and being Peyton, he rigged the reps so he always threw to Odell and stuck Eli with lesser receivers. He knew what he was looking at.”
According to 247 Sports, in 2009 and 2010, Beckham totaled 1,729 receiving yards with 29 touchdowns. He went on to play for LSU, where in three years, he had 2,340 yards and 12 touchdowns, eight of them coming his junior year.
Since getting drafted by the Giants, he’s become one of the NFL’s best receivers, though his 2017 season was cut short with an ankle injury.
On a revamped Giants team, Beckham will try to show he’s worth the money, and in a twist of irony, it will be Eli, not Peyton, who gets to help him.
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