BOSTON (CBS) – Former NFL quarterback Chad Pennington was a guest of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Friday morning.

Pennington was a star high school quarterback in Knoxville, Tennessee, but wasn’t recruited by the state school just miles away for one simple reason.

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“They had this bum there by the name of Peyton Manning, so they weren’t looking for any quarterbacks at the time,” Pennington said in jest this morning.

The son of a head coach, Pennington knew his abilities and limitations, so a blue chip prospect he was not.

But when Marshall University came calling — then a D1-AA school — Pennington answered the bell and went on to have a tremendous college career.

“It was just a fun time to be in the program. We were the winningest team in the 1990s and we were kind of the BCS-buster before the Boise States, the TCUs and those types of programs,” said Pennington. “It was just a really fun time to be a part of the Marshall Thundering Herd.”

A quarterback’s best friend is a wide receiver that can make even your bad throws look good, and boy did Pennington have that at Marshall.

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“The great thing about Randy [Moss]  is whether it was high school, college or the pros he made the same type of plays,” said Pennington. “He always had that ability to make those great plays because he was such a great player.”

As it relates locally, Pennington was a player seen by Patriots fans in this region countless times for the amount of games he played as a member of the Jets and Dolphins.

“Playing against those guys, that was a special time for the Patriots and their defense. The type of football IQ that they had as a team and as individual players, that’s what made them great,” said Pennington.

“Who was the biggest pain in the ass on the Patriots?” Rich asked.

“[Laughter]. Let’s see here . . . Rodney Harrison without a doubt. But he was also a great player and he’d let you know it too. By the end of my career I think we had played against each other for so long, even when I was with the Dolphins, that it was more of a respect thing,” Pennington said of Harrison. “You just keep going at it every year, year in and year out, that you develop a respect level for each other because you’ve been at it for so long.”

Pennington also spoke about his multiple surgeries and comebacks — that and much more. Listen below:

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