Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Tennessee

Nico’s Similarity to Peyton Manning

The top prospect in Tennessee’s 2023 class performed in front of an important audience on Friday night.

He did not disappoint. 

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel and quarterback coach Joey Halzle made use of the bye week, traveling to California to watch five-star quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava lead Downey Warren High School.

Iamaleava is ranked as the No. 3 quarterback in the class of 2023 and has quickly become a household name in Knoxville. Iamaleava’s commitment in the spring was a big boost for this Tennessee coaching staff, squashing any concerns about Josh Heupel’s recruiting prowess. 


The 6-foot-5, 195-pound quarterback lived up to the hype in front of his future coaches., finishing with five touchdowns and 247 yards in the first half.

Iamaleava’s little brother, Madden Iamaleava, finished the game for Downey Warren and had a touchdown pass of his own. 

Downey Warren defeated Mayfair High School 54-7 and moved to 5-1 on the year. 

Iamaleava helped conduct the band following his outstanding night. 

Sounds familiar.

The Vols know the effect a great quarterback. Peyton Manning, one of the greatest QBs of all time, left his mark not only on the Tennessee football program, but perhaps more importantly, on the fanbase. In his 1997 senior campaign, Peyton Manning led the Pride of the Southland Band in their post-game performance of “Rocky Top” following a win against Alabama in Birmingham. 

Iamaleava posed for a picture with former Tennessee basketball standout Grant Williams while in Knoxville last weekend for the Volunteers’ historic win against Florida. 

Will Iamaleava be the next Tennessee star? He is expected to enroll early to join the Volunteers in the winter and begin battling for the starting quarterback position. Barring any other additions, Iamaleava will have to compete with Tayven Jackson and Joe Milton, who still has a year of eligibility left if he chooses to use it. 

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