2003 Maxwell Award Winner, Two-Time Super Bowl Champ Becomes Third Rebel to Have Jersey Retired
Ole Miss legend Eli Manning will have his No. 10 jersey number retired during the 2020 season, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter announced on Monday.
Manning will be just the third player in Ole Miss’ storied history to have his number retired, joining his father Archie Manning (18) and Chucky Mullins (38). The ceremony is scheduled to take place later this year during the Auburn football game.
“We couldn’t be prouder or more excited to officially add Eli’s No. 10 to its rightful place among the retired jersey numbers in our football history,” Carter said. “Like Chucky and Archie, Eli left an indelible impact on our program and the game of football as a whole. His dedication, humility and kindness over the course of his career epitomizes what it means to be a Rebel, and we look forward to celebrating him as a player and a person.”
Manning, a four-year letterwinner for the Rebels from 2000-03, won the 2003 Maxwell Award, an honor given to the best all-around player in college football. The New Orleans, Louisiana, native set or tied 47 Ole Miss single‑game, season and career records during his time in Oxford.
“I owe so much credit to the coaches and all the wonderful teammates that I had here during my time in Oxford that put in all the hard work right alongside of me,” Eli said. “It’ll be special to see the number go up there next to my dad and Chucky Mullins.”
Manning became the highest pick in program history when he was selected No. 1 in the 2004 NFL Draft. His father, Archie Manning, was the No. 2 overall pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1971 after a historic career with the Rebels from 1968-70.
“On behalf of our entire family, we’re all very excited about this,” Archie said. “We can go way back and remember how excited we all were when Eli decided to come to Ole Miss. Those were five wonderful years for us. We’re very proud of Eli’s career in Oxford and very indebted to Keith and the athletic department and everyone else responsible for retiring No. 10. It’s really special.”
Eli, who finished third in the 2003 Heisman Trophy ballot following his senior season, finished his illustrious Ole Miss career with a school-record 10,119 career passing yards and 81 career TD passes. He also set new Ole Miss career records for completions (829) and passing attempts (1,363), and both marks ranked fourth on the SEC career lists.
He recorded the lowest percentage of interceptions thrown at Ole Miss (2.57) and owns a career pass efficiency rating of 137.7. His career completion percentage of 60.8 tied the Ole Miss career record set by Stewart Patridge (1994, 1996-1997). Eli also set Ole Miss career records for consecutive games with a TD pass (16), consecutive 200-yard passing games (11) and consecutive 250-yard passing games (7).
Eli solidified his place in Ole Miss history with a historic senior campaign in 2003. Besides the Maxwell Award, he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and earned numerous All-America honors after throwing for 3,600 yards and 29 TDs. He earned SEC Offensive Player of the Year, helping lead the Rebels to a 10-3 record and a win over Oklahoma State in the 2004 Cotton Bowl.
After being drafted No. 1 by the San Diego Chargers, Manning was traded to the New York Giants for Phillip Rivers. Manning would go on to don a Giants uniform for 16 years, retiring shortly after the 2019 season. He was named to four Pro Bowls and was a two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Super Bowl MVP. Manning recently was awarded the 2020 Bart Starr Award, which is given annually to an NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.
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