Video: Drew Brees inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
Brees led Westlake (Austin) to 1996 state championship.
Anyone who witnessed Drew Brees as a 'B' team freshman quarterback at Westlake (Austin, Texas)
could never have fathomed him being the most prolific passer in NFL history.
But that's what Brees will become if he surpasses the 200-yard mark Monday night in a game against the Washington Redskins.
Brees enters the game with the third most yards (71,740) behind Peyton Manning (71,940) and Brett Favre (71,838). At 39, in good health and part of a potent New Orleans offense, he should extend that record by many yards.
Some of his former Westlake coaches were stunned that he's even playing on Sundays.
"Not a prayer — not then,” said his Westlake varsity offensive
coordinator Neal LaHue in 2010. “He had a pretty strong arm but he couldn’t run
out of sight in a day.”
But Brees, with a competitive edge and great leadership skills, lifted his play immensely at Westlake.
He never lost a game as a starting quarterback at Westlake, earned
All-American honors at Purdue — one of only two Division I schools to
offer him a scholarship — and now he’s on the verge of a historic mark.
He also was the Super Bowl XLIV MVP, leading the Saints to their one and only title.
"Drew was one of the best leaders I've ever coached, if not the best," LaHue told the Austin Statesmen
after resigning as head coach from Hays (Buda, Texas)
in 2017. "He just had a way with that team, and you can still see it now. He was a great player, a great young man, a great leader."
Also basketball and baseball teammates, Rodgers said Brees was the most
competitive kid he’d ever seen, which showed as a junior at Westlake.
On the varsity as a junior, Brees led the team to 13 straight wins before he tore
an ACL in the third round of the playoffs. Westlake went on to win the
game but the following week, the Chaparrals lost to the eventual state
In the spring, the baseball team put on a home-run derby/fundraiser and Brees, a standout on the team, couldn’t resist.
“He was still on crutches and he put them down, stepped into the
batter’s box and the first pitch he drilled out of the park,” Rodgers said. “He couldn’t continue but he didn’t want to let the team
He didn't let the football team either. He rehabbed hard during the summer and the 1996 Chaparrals won the 5A-2 title, going undefeated (16-0) for the first time. Brees was the 5A State Offensive
Player of the Year, throwing for 3,528 yards and 31 touchdowns.
"That 1996 team was simply a well-oiled machine," said longtime Texas high school football expert Carl Padilla. "It
didn’t matter how short or long the situation but (Brees) always got
that team to convert. You could see how effectively he managed
everything. He was in totally control of that offense and always made
the right decision.”
Brees was one of only two returning offensive starters on that state title team. That's why LaHue isn't now shocked that Brees has reached such heights.
"Drew drove that offense to be one of the most prolific in state
history," LaHue told MaxPreps. "They ran for about 3,800 yards and passed for 3,800. They
scored between 700 and 800 points. His positive nature rubbed off on
every one. He made everyone around him better, just like he did at
Purdue and like he’s doing right now in the NFL."