Evans Clinchy
Friday March 9th, 2012

Years ago, before he was a star first baseman winning National League batting titles, Todd Helton was a quarterback at the University of Tennessee. Believe it or not, he even started for the Volunteers at one point in front of Peyton Manning.

Now, with Helton in a starring role on the Colorado Rockies and Manning reportedly hearing a sales pitch from the Denver Broncos, Helton said he'd be open to talking with Manning about his future.

“First, I have to see where Peyton’s at,” Helton told the Denver Post. “If it came down to the Broncos and another team, I would probably talk to him.”

Helton, now 38, was a junior at Tennessee in 1994 when injuries derailed his season and Manning, then a freshman, took over under center. Nearly two decades later, the two athletes remain friends, and they even briefly worked out together on the Duke campus this winter.

Helton wasn't at all surprised to hear that Manning, 36, would be continuing his NFL career after multiple neck surgeries and his release from the Indianapolis Colts. “He loves being a quarterback,” Helton said.

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