Drew Brees is a Professional Football Hall of Fame member in the first round. The New Orleans Saints quarterback holds numerous NFL records, including career passing yards and touchdown passes. Interestingly, Brees never played tackle football at a young age. In fact, he played flag football until eighth grade. What’s even more interesting, one of his favorite targets on this team was someone who did pretty well in Hollywood.
Drew Brees succeeds against all odds
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Despite all of his impressive records today, most college football scouts found Drew Brees’ talent insufficient coming out of Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, even after leading his team to a state title. Brees grew up in the shadow of the University of Texas. The Longhorns, Aggies, and every other school in Texas, for that matter, didn’t want him.
However, it wasn’t limited to just Lone Star State colleges. In fact, he only received two offers to play college football from Kentucky and Purdue. He chose to play for the Boilermakers, where he started off with Big Ten Conference records in passing yards (11,792), touchdown passes (90), total offensive yards (12,693) and completions (1,026 ).
Brees replicated that same level of success in the NFL. He’s the NFL’s career leader in passing yards, passing completed, touchdowns, highest career completion percentage, highest single-season completion percentage, and list goes on. And he won the Super Bowl in 2009.
Drew Brees is good at several sports
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Although not very popular when he left high school, Drew Brees had athletic lines. His father played basketball at Texas A&M. Her mother earned all-state honors in three sports while in high school. While Brees would eventually become a star of three of his own in high school, he took an unconventional path in football.
Brees never played Pop Warner or Pee Wee football. Instead, he played flag football at St. Stephen’s, an episcopal school, where they competed in the Austin Interparochial League. This is where Brees honed his skills as a quarterback.
Even in those early days, Drew Brees was diligently working on his craft. It was not uncommon for the young quarterback and head coach to stay late after practice to come up with special plays to use on two-point conversions. And one of Brees’ favorite targets was Ben Schenkkan.
Ben McKenzie becomes a star in Hollywood
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Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan grew up in Austin, Texas. He attended St. Stephen’s with Drew Brees. And according to one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, McKenzie wasn’t bad himself.
“Ben was a great guy in college and he was a phenomenal athlete,” Brees told UPROXX in an interview in 2016. He was a great football player. He was a guy I always thought I had a chance. I know he played in high school.
After college, the couple broke up. Brees went to Westlake and McKenzie went to Austin High School, before going to the University of Virginia, where he didn’t play football but focused on his studies. Two years after graduating from college, McKenzie had his big luck in 2003 when he was cast to The OC as Ryan Atwood. Since then he has also performed in Southland and Gotham.
Drew Brees and Ben McKenzie have had very successful careers in their respective professions. And they both have a story to tell their children and grandchildren one day about how they knew someone before they became famous.
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