Indianapolis – Andrew Luck is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, but the star quarterback out of Stanford is trying his best to tune out the attention surrounding his status here at the Scouting Combine. That's not so easy, especially with Luck now in the same town as Colts star quarterback Peyton Manning, whose future with the team remains uncertain.
Chances are Luck will wind up replacing Manning, who has had four neck surgeries in the last two years and is attempting to regain enough strength to continue his NFL career. Manning missed the entire 2011 season.
Asked if it was strange to walk into a building with so many reminders of Manning, including many huge pictures of the quarterback, Luck said: “I’m not too caught up in that right now. I understand that it’s a possibility.”
It’s stronger than that. In fact, it would be a shock if the Colts don’t take Luck, who said today that he idolized Manning growing up in Texas.
“Peyton was my hero growing up,” said Luck, son of former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck. “He was my football hero. That's who I modeled myself after in high school, middle school, whatever it was. You never truly replace a guy like that. And who knows what happens? So many different things can happen. I'm not thinking about it too much right now.”
Luck has met Manning at the Colts quarterback’s passing camps the past two summers.
“It was a great experience, great to see all the Mannings,” he said.
Luck said he consulted Manning about returning to Stanford last year. Manning made a similar decision to play at Tennessee one more year before entering the 1998 draft.
“I did talk to him after I made my decision to come back to school last year for advice because obviously he went through a very similar situation,” Luck said. “I've got a couple of texts through the season, but other than that, not much.”
If Manning does remain with the Colts – which appears to be a longshot at this point – Luck would have no problem serving as his backup.
“If I had the opportunity to learn from a guy like that,” Luck said, “of course you're going to take advantage of it. Absolutely.”