There are predominantly three jersey numbers that are legendary in Ole Miss football lore: 10, 38 and 18.
The final number in that list is our focus today. The No. 18 is nearly worshipped by Ole Miss fans. It’s the speed limit on the majority of campus, and it’s synonymous with the success of one of the university’s greatest athletes: Archie Manning.
Manning played from 1968-70 in an Ole Miss uniform, passing for over 4,000 yards in his stay and winning a Liberty Bowl and a Sugar Bowl as a Rebel. In 1969, Archie was a First-Team All-American, First-Team All-SEC and the SEC Player of the Year. His number is retired at Ole Miss with no Rebel able to wear that number again for the history of time.
Here are some of Archie’s highlights from his time in Oxford.
Following his career at Ole Miss, Archie was drafted by the New Orleans Saints where he spent most of his NFL career, although he did play for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings as well. He made two Pro Bowls (1978, 1979) and is a member of the Saints’ ring of honor.
As mentioned above, Archie’s No. 18 is now the speed limit on the majority of the Ole Miss campus, and his presence is irrevocably woven with the school forever.
Two of his sons, Peyton and Eli, proved to be some of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all-time as well.
Ole Miss will retire Eli Manning's No. 10 this season. The #Giants legend becomes just the third player in the school's history to have his number retired, joining Archie Manning (18), and Chucky Mullins (38).— Giants Alliance (@GiantsAlliance) June 23, 2020
Eli has 47 #OleMiss records and won the Maxwell Award in 2003. pic.twitter.com/mzdxZQTp59
And his oldest son, Cooper, happens to have a son who happens to be one of the top quarterback recruits in the country in Arch Manning. Even as a high school student, Arch needs no introduction to those of you who keep up with recruiting, and keeping an eye on his school choice will keep all eyes locked on Isidore Newman moving forward.
Anyway, we’ll see you in 18 days in Atlanta.