FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — UNA Athletics had a special guest at its annual Lions Club Dinner and Auction event, as former NFL quarterback and College Hall of Famer Archie Manning was the keynote speaker.

The former star quarterback at Ole Miss said he’s actually been to the Shoals before and was excited to have the opportunity to be back.

“100 years ago I used to come and speak at what they called the Quad Cities quarterback club or touchdown club, one of the other. Glad to be back, be back in this part of the country. Had a great time today, had a tour of the facilities, all of the nice things that have been done, met the coaching staff, the football coaching staff. Seeing what’s going on here, sounds like some exciting times ahead and that excites me,” Manning said.

Manning also talked about the changes in college football, and where he sees the sport headed.

“It’s either NIL, name, imagine and likeness or the portal, and the combination of the two has really turned college football upside down and different. I love the game, I think we all love do love college football and the excitement. We’ll get this realignment and that will take some adjusting, but the NIL and portal thing needs some regulation. I hope college football can maintain the popularity and all of the good things about it,” Manning added.

Manning did a meet and greet with UNA fans, gave signed items from the family to the auction, and spoke during the dinner.