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Ole Miss to retire Eli Manning’s No. 10 jersey

OXFORD – Ole Miss football legend Eli Manning will have his 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 to retire Eli’s No. 10 is scheduled to take place on Sept. 19, when the Rebels host Auburn in their Southeastern Conference opener.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee and linebacker Jacquez Jones were currently wearing No. 10. Plumlee is allowed to finish out his Rebel career with No. 10 if he so chooses, while Jones already swapped to No. 32 during the offseason, an Ole Miss spokesperson told the Oxford Eagle.

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 native set or tied 47 Ole Miss single‑game, season and career records during his time in Oxford.

Eli finished third in the 2003 Heisman Trophy voting following his senior season. He finished his illustrious Ole Miss career with a school-record 10,119 career passing yards and 81 career touchdown 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.

“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 NFL draft pick in program history when he was selected No. 1 overall in 2004. 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.

After being drafted No. 1 by the San Diego Chargers, Manning was traded to the New York Giants for Phillip Rivers on draft day. Manning went on to play 16 seasons with the Giants, 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.

“On behalf of our entire family, we’re all very excited about this,” Archie Manning 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.”