Eli Manning Goes Undercover at Penn State Walk-On Tryout as ‘Chad Powers’

by Sean Griffin

Eli Manning hasn’t thrown an NFL pass since December 15, 2019. However, that didn’t stop the two-time Super Bowl champion from trying out for Penn State’s football team at their walk-on tryouts.

Manning inked a broadcasting deal with ESPN shortly after retiring, joining the highly-rated Monday Night Football simulcast known as “The Manningcast.” That show features his brother, also two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, as they commentate during Monday’s weekly NFL game.

However, he also hosts and stars in Eli’s Places, a project on ESPN+ that follows the former quarterback visiting college football programs around the country.

In this most recent episode, he crashes walk-on tryouts incognito. In a hilarious-looking disguise, Eli Manning walked around State College as “Chad Powers”—and the results are phenomenal.

Check out the first part of the clip below, and keep scrolling to watch the second half of the clip.

Wednesday’s episode of Eli’s Places takes Eli trip to State College. In the episode, he performs a stunt similar to Jared Goff’s disguise prank at Ventura College. Eli Manning attends an open tryout as a walk-on named “Chad Powers,” who according to his official resume was a homeschooled quarterback.

Manning uses a prosthetic nose and fake mustache, combined with a very gnarly Jeff Spicoli-esque hairdo. He FaceTimes his brother Peyton once in the disguise. Then, he meets with head coach James Franklin, who claims to recognize Eli right away.

Eli Manning Pranks Penn State, Reveals Identity

Plenty of Penn State staffers seemed to know something was up when “Chad” strolled into the tryout. He clocked in a severely unimpressive time of 5.49 in the 40-yard dash. However, the current 41-year-old ran a 4.9 second time at the NFL Combine all the way back in 2004, right out of college. So, at least he hasn’t lost much of the speed he never really possessed.

However, he did sling the rock well enough to have people questioning who he was. He didn’t make the final cut, and shortly after, “Powers” revealed his true identity as Eli Manning.

Plenty of viewers ran to the comment section on YouTube, commenting on how funny the entire prank was.

“The Mannings are low-key hilarious,” one person wrote, with over two hundred users liking the comment in agreement.

One user took issue with the prank, saying it was partially staged. “The coaches knew who he was,” he wrote.

Another person said the skit reminded him of Jared Goff’s prank at Ventura College. “Straight comedy I remember when Jared Goff tried to walk on.”

Someone else wanted to see similar content with other quarterbacks. “Do this with more QBs please this is great stuff,” they wrote.

A final user wanted to comment on Eli’s hilarious physical appearance, which they think looks like a mish-mash of other NFL quarterbacks.

‘He still looks like Eli. With [Trevor] Lawrence Hair, and a [Gardner] Minshew Mustache,” they said, referring to the players famous for quarterbacking the Jacksonville Jaguars and their distinct looks.