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Dalton Durossette attends Manning Passing Academy
Ceres Highs Dalton Durossette attended the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State University this past week in Louisiana. The four-day camp was hosted by the Manning family, including two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton (pictured with Dalton). - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Dalton Durossette doesn't like to fly.

"It gives me anxiety," the 6-foot-2 203-pound Ceres High sophomore said. "I don't know why. Either way, I was going to go to this camp."

Durossette returned home from the 22nd annual Manning Passing Academy on June 26.

The four-day event was hosted by the Manning family, including Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper, July 22-25, at Nicholls State University in Louisiana.

Peyton, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, enjoyed a record-breaking career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

Peyton and younger brother Eli (quarterback for the New York Giants) have each won two Super Bowl titles.

An all-state receiver in high school, eldest brother Cooper signed with Ole Miss but never got a chance to play in college due to a spinal condition.

Father Archie competed for 16 seasons in the National Football League. He was selected No. 2 overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 1971 Draft.

"The most enjoyable part was getting to talk to Peyton Manning and being around all of the college quarterbacks that were there," Durossette said. "It was a great experience. Probably, the best I've ever had. Hopefully, I have the chance to go back next year."

Peyton introduced himself to Dalton the first day of the camp.
The two had a brief conversation on June 23.

"The first day, he came up to me and asked what my name was," Durossette stated. "The second day, I went up to him and asked him if he remembered playing with (Colts offensive lineman) Kyle DeVan. He's my mom's best friend's cousin. He said yes. He also told me to keep working hard and I'll have an opportunity to play at the next level."

"For him to hear that is extremely important," said Angela Durossette, Dalton's mother. "I thought that was pretty cool. Tom Brady is his favorite quarterback but he respects the Mannings."

Some of the top college quarterbacks in the nation served as counselors at the Manning camp, including Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Sam Darnold (USC), Jake Browning (Washington) and Jalen Hurts (Alabama).

Durossette had a 10-minute conversation with Jackson when lightning postponed a practice session on June 24.

Jackson, a dual-threat passer, was awarded the 2016 Heisman Trophy in December after a sensational sophomore season.

"I went up to him and introduced myself," Durossette said. "He shared his story with me. He told me there's no down time playing college sports."

Durossette and the other 15-year-old participants in his age group worked with Shane Buechele (Texas), Richard Lagow (Indiana), Nick Fitzgerald (Mississippi State) and Kyle Shurmur (Vanderbilt).

"Being around them was cool," he said. "They helped us out with things to do and things not to do. They were nice and humble."

Dalton attended seminars in the evening.

His 7-on-7 passing team went undefeated on June 23.

The camp drew more than 1,200 participants.

"Dalton's very introverted," Angela said. "He doesn't like the spotlight on him. This is something he should be proud of. He got to see how he compared to other 15 year olds."

Durossette is a multi-sport standout at Ceres High. He plays football, baseball and basketball.

Dalton passed for 1,390 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading the Bulldogs' junior-varsity football team to a 7-3 overall record this past fall.

He earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors while filling a key role on Ceres High's varsity baseball team during the springtime.

Durossette batted .410 from the plate with one homer, three doubles, 22 RBIs, 34 runs and 11 stolen bases for the Bulldogs, who went 23-7, qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs and finished second in the WAC standings (12-3).

Dalton compiled a 7-4 record at pitcher with a 2.53 ERA, one no-hitter, one shutout, three complete games and 56 strikeouts.

Durossette and Ceres High's freshman boys basketball team (9-1) won a share of the conference title in the winter. He poured in a career-high 46 points against Livingston during the WAC season.

"The reason why I'm so busy is I haven't decided what sport I want to play in college," Dalton said. "People do see potential in me. I need to work harder. One day, it will all pay off."