• 66°

Q&A with former Oxford quarterback Jack Abraham on Manning Passing Academy, year two at USM

Former Oxford High School and current Southern Miss starting quarterback Jack Abraham spent this past weekend in Thibodaux, La.

One of 45 college counselors for the 2019 Manning Passing Academy, Abraham was joined by, of course, Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning, as well as Ole Miss starter Matt Corral, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.

The crew spent the four-day camp teaching the art of quarterbacking to high schoolers, as well as learning from the Manning family and each other. After spending a season at Northwest Mississippi Community College, Abraham was one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the country last year, his first at Southern Miss. In 2018, he led the nation in completion percentage at 73.1 percent. In 2019, he’ll have a different challenge, as USM hired a new offensive coordinator over the spring, Buster Faulkner.

We caught up with Jack Abraham earlier this week to talk about his experiences at the Manning Passing Academy, and his expectations for 2019 at USM:

Q: Generally, how would you describe your experience as a counselor at the camp?

A: “It really was awesome. It was a great experience. Just being around such great quarterbacks and guys, I made a bunch of good connections and friendships that I’ll carry on for sure. I had been to it as a camper in middle school, so I kind of knew the routine and how everything works, but it was neat being on the other side of it.”

Q: What’re some of those differences of being there as a camper vs. the college guys?

A: “The days are a lot longer, that’s for sure. You don’t get many breaks. But it was cool just seeing myself and these campers and being in the opposite position. Working with those campers was really fun. But then just working out with Peyton and Eli and a bunch of the great quarterbacks around the country. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Q: What were some of the big takeaways you learned from getting to work with those other kids and the Mannings?

A: “We sat down with Peyton and Eli and did a little talk. It was a lot of great information about game week preparation, film study, offseason throwing, taking care of your body and really just what’s the best most, efficient way of doing these things. They really emphasized chemistry with the wide outs and communication with the offensive line – making sure you keep that chemistry good throughout the year. I took a lot of good stuff away from them beyond even throwing. But then we got out there and throw and here what they say about correcting footwork and things like that.”

Q: You’re going into year two at USM, but you have a new offensive coordinator. What’s new and how are you all adapting to the new system?

A: “We’re still learning a little bit for sure. We had a spring with (Faulkner) to get the idea and the offense down. We’re working hard right now to learn it and I think the summer is going well for us so far. It’s really just about staying in the film room and learning that offense but also getting out there with the receivers and getting the chemistry down. The offense isn’t all that much difference, honestly. It’s kind of the same, conceptually. Obviously, there’s new terminology and things that come with a change, but that stuff just comes with time and work.”

Q: Returning a lot of guys from a really efficient offense a year ago, what’s your outlook for the upcoming year?

A: “We have a lot of expectations this year, with all the guys coming back. We plan on living up to those expectations. Having all that experience on the offensive line and at wide out helps so much. And then just with me, last year I felt the game start to slow down a bit as the season progressed and I got a grasp on situational things and taking care of the ball. I think I’m going to do a good job this year of just continuing to work with that and carry it over into year two.”