KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — VFL Peyton Manning seems to believe in Vols new coach Josh Heupel. The Sheriff paid a visit to his old stomping grounds on Rocky Top recently and gave his stamp of approval for Heupel.

Manning gave high praise to the team’s new leader. Before Heupel made his move to Knoxville, he and Manning crossed paths during his Oklahoma days, when Heupel went from an elite quarterback to a coach responsible for orchestrating high-scoring offenses.

“I like coach Heupel,” Manning said. “I’ve known Josh through the years. Certainly, remember him as a player. I’ve visited with him before when he was at Oklahoma. Sharp football mind. It’s an exciting offense I think. We’ve got a lot of new players, young players, somewhat of an adjustment still, but I think it will be a fun offense to watch.”

Manning said he thinks the new offense will be aggressive, and he looks forward to watching and cheering on his alma mater.

Tennessee is set to kick off Thursday at 8 p.m. against Bowling Green, the debut of Josh Heupel, and a new era of Volunteer football.