KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Some students from the University of Tennessee, a little bored with online courses during the coronavirus epidemic and arrest across the campus, received a shock on Thursday morning from one of UT’s most famous alarms.
Peyton Manning “crashed” on his former professor’s Communications 499 class, surprising the students and doing his part to try to lift morale.
John Haas, one of Manning’s favorite professors when the star’s quarterback was in school, was surprised. “Vols helps Vols,” said Haas, who perfectly created Manning’s appearance.
Within minutes of the lesson, there is a ding and Haas says “Mr. Thompson, I think you’re late for the lesson.” Manning, wearing a visor bearing the Power T of the Vols brand, opens on the screen with the other students via the Zoom video conference and says: “I’m sorry Dr. Haas. It’s been a while. At least since 1996 or 7 since when I was in a class. “
Haas, trying to keep a serious face, makes a joke: “If I were here, I would have you make the stadium steps to be late,” attracting a warm chuckle from the two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback.
Manning then offers students some advice and, at this point, they understood who this mysterious student is who arrived late for the lesson. Some of their expressions are priceless.
“I realize this is probably not the ideal way you expected to spend your final year,” says Manning to the class. “I just encourage you to keep a positive attitude, to continue working as you are doing and to try to devote some more time to yourself to accomplish something else or help someone in need. There are many people who hurt there during this period.
“Be thankful for what you have and know that the University of Tennessee is proud of you and will support you in any way possible, and Dr. Haas and his department will do the same thing.”
Immediately, there are several “thanks” and even a “thank you, Mr. Manning”. Haas jokes that Manning could start a new career if she “enjoys teaching at home” and throws away the possibility that Manning attends elementary school in Tennessee.
“I will make sure to save an assistant ship for you,” says Haas. Manning signs with a “Go Vols!” and Haas reminds her students that they never know who could enter, to which a student hit by a star winces, “I didn’t even wear makeup this morning.”
Before joining the NFL stardom, Manning created a legendary career in Tennessee and remains one of the most loved figures in school history. He refused to be the # 1 choice in the 1997 NFL draft and returned to school for his senior season and brought the Vols to the SEC 1997 championship.
Manning, who had retired shirt number 16 from Tennessee in 2005, has gone through 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns during his college career. He returns to campus every summer to recognize his Peyton Manning scholars, an endowment he created in 1998 that provides a four-year scholarship to students arriving at the University of Tennessee.
In 2018, Manning also honored Haas by donating $ 1 million to UT to establish the experimental learning envelope for John Haas students. Haas is a longtime director and associate professor at the School of Communications Studies at the College of Communication and Information.