Texas A&M Aggie Drew Brees? It Could Have Been

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Ray and Virginia Akins, the Grandparents of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who live in Robertson County are extremely excited about this Sunday's Super Bowl.

But their grandson's path to the NFL could have been much different. Turns out Brees really wanted to go to college where his parents went, Texas A&M, but we all know how that turned out.

With Wednesday marking the official start of signing day for high school athletes it's fitting that we bring you the story of Drew Brees' path from a high school in Austin to a team playing for an NFL championship.

Turns out Brees wasn't highly coveted coming out of Austin Westlake but like they say, everything worked out like it was supposed to.

"Nobody in Texas wanted him, his only choice was Kentucky and Purdue," said Brees' grandmother Virgina Akins.

After Drew Brees lead the Chapperals to a State Championship in 1996, you would think Brees' offers to play college ball would be as plentiful as the amount of points Westlake put up against Abilene Cooper that day. But they weren't.

"Well we actually did look at Drew in high school," said former Texas A&M head coach R.C. Slocum.

Slocum had a shot at the soon to be Super Bowl quarterback but he had some concerns about Brees.

"People looked at him and saw him as an undersized quarterback and he had some injury problems. Everybody in the neighborhood and this part of the county, including the University of Texas where his Uncle was a starting quarterback, passed on him out of high school," said Slocum.

Purdue head coach Joe Tiller saw something different and had faith in the vertically challenged QB and his ability at the position. It wasn't long before Brees was officially a Boilermaker.

"His arm and his vision, that fit him almost perfect and Joe Tiller was a good (fit)," said Ray Akins. "I don't know if he'd be where he is today if he hadn't have a coach like Joe Tiller," said Virginia Akins. "Everything works out for the best, that's what I always told him," said Ray.

Brees lead Purdue to three bowl games including the 2001 Rose Bowl and a victory in the 1998 Alamo Bowl his freshman season.

"It really didn't bother us that he didn't go to Texas, the fact that he went to Purdue, it was the best thing for him to go there," said Virginia.

"I later told Joe that we really missed on that young man," said Slocum.

It's a fact that Brees' Brazos Valley grandparents don't mind bringing up.

"We just like to tease A&M and Texas that they missed out on him. We like to boast that," joked Virgina.

Now even though Drew Brees never wore the maroon and white, two coaches on the New Orleans saint's staff did. Dennis Allen serves as the secondary coach for the saints and played for A&M from 1992 to 1995.
Bill Johnson, the Saints defensive line coach served in the same capacity at A&M from 1992 to 1999.

As for the Colts, safety and Aggie Melvin Bullitt will be playing for his first shot at a Super Bowl ring .


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