How The Impact of Oliver Luck Could Make or Break Andrew Luck’s Future

Audio/Story posted February 13, 2012 in NFL Draft by Mike Esse, Patrick Woo.

Interview with Oliver Luck | Conducted by: Patrick Woo


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The 2004 NFL Draft was filled with major controversy. Eli Manning, the clear cut first pick coming out of Ole Miss, was headed to San Diego until his father Archie intervened. After seeing the treatment Ryan Leaf received while playing quarterback for the Chargers six years prior, Manning's father made it clear that he did not want his son to play in San Diego.

Archie Manning's insistence on having a say in his son's team cause a trade to the New York Giants. Eli Manning has now led the Giants to Super Bowl championships. It was his father's influence that allowed him to build a legacy in New York.

In the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft, the clear cut top pick is Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Like Manning, Luck has an influential father in West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck. While lacking the influence that a college hall-of-famer and former pro quarterback like Archie Manning may have, Luck is still in a position where he could have some say in what happens to his son in the draft.

With Peyton Manning still in Indianapolis and cleared to play in the 2012 NFL season, there has been a great debate over whether the Colts should keep him with Luck a mortal lock to be their pick with the first overall selection. Luck has said that he wants to start right away wherever he ends up in this draft, but is Indianapolis really the best place for him?

The Colts went 2-14 last season with two subpar backup quarterbacks playing for the injured Manning, but it was apparent that quarterback play was one of many problems. The Indianapolis defense gave up more than 23 points in all but three of their games, including a Monday night game in which they yielded 62 points to the New Orleans Saints. Despite their serious problems on defense, the only conversation was about Manning.

Added to their defensive struggles was a nonexistent running game and an underachieving group of receivers. With this franchise, Andrew Luck will struggle to succeed. The question must be asked: will Oliver Luck attempt to find a better situation for his son as Archie Manning did for his in 2004?

In a recent interview, Oliver Luck told ComRadio's Patrick Woo that he is not going to handle much of his son during draft time. But Archie Manning's influence put both his sons in good situations, and they have won a combined three Super Bowls during their successful careers. Peyton Manning may have found Indianapolis to be the best fit over a decade ago, but this situation is different and Andrew Luck is a long way from being Peyton Manning.

If Andrew Luck decides to allow the chips to fall where they may, he will find himself in Indianapolis with big shoes to fill. Peyton Manning was very successful, bringing a Super Bowl championship and a state-of-the-art stadium to Indianapolis during his time as a Colt. It is impossible to project if Luck will be able to reach that level of success in his NFL career. So when Oliver Luck says that he won't interfere with his son's draft prospects, it is hard to ignore the incentives for him to do so.

On the other hand, without a trade available to compare to the Eli Manning trade, it may not be financially responsible to avoid being the top pick and the face of an NFL franchise. Going to Indianapolis seems likely to ensure Luck an opportunity to be an immediate starter, allowing him to develop along with a rebuilding franchise.

Ironically, this can only be accomplished by Indianapolis deciding to trade or release Eli's brother Peyton. It remains to be seen if Oliver Luck will have any influence on his son's future, or if they will decide to take on the challenge in Indianapolis.


Mike Esse is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

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Mike Esse

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Mike Esse is a senior from Grosse Pointe, Mich., majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in business. He is a reporter for the Centre County report with a primary focus in sports. Additionally, he serves as the Student General Manager for ComRadio as well as being a producer, talk show personality and play-by-play voice.

Mike also is a staff writer for where he covers Penn State women’s basketball and baseball and works for Penn State Athletics in video production. He has completed internships with MLB Advanced Media in Summer 2014 and Westwood One Sports in summer 2013.

Mike is interested in pursuing a career as a TV executive, producer, talk-show host or a play-by-play announcer. You can reach him via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and follow him on twitter @MikeEsse22.