There’s such an age gap between brothers that it was often little Eli and then Cooper and Peyton together. The older two got to hang out, play together, compete. Eli was always the tag-along. But he loved it.

“Cooper and Peyton, you just liked being around them,” Eli said today. “If they had friends over, you just wanted to be involved in whatever they were doing. If they were outside playing a sport or football, you just want to be a part of the game. You didn’t really care if they threw it to you or not.”

Eli also said that it wasn’t just his big brothers that he looked up to.

“All of his friends were role models in a sense,” he said. “Watching both of them play high school football together on the same teams, I can probably still name that starting lineup because those were the guys you wanted to be. You wanted to be the starting quarterback on varsity, or playing varsity football. They were definitely role models and I looked up to them a lot.”

Did he ever want to be a receiver like Cooper was?

“I never thought of that,” he said. “I didn’t have the speed, so it wasn’t an option.”

(Interesting aspect of the video above is that Cooper wore 18 and Peyton wore 10 in high school. Now Peyton wears 18 and Eli wears 10.)

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