Daily Buzz: Foles, Brees are products of same Texas high school
When the Saints play the Eagles in the first round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday, it will be a head-to-head matchup of signal callers from Austin's Westlake High.
By Tully Corcoran
The Texas High School Quarterback is a trope in American pop culture. The reason for that is part cultural mythology -- "Texas high school football" causes the instant recall of huge stadiums in small towns and closed-down barber shops -- but the biggest reason for it is that Texas makes the best quarterbacks.
You may argue against that -- by all means, knock yourself out -- but you will have to confront the following reality: When the New Orleans Saints play the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday in Philadelphia, it will be a head-to-head matchup of quarterbacks from the same Texas high school.
Drew Brees and Nick Foles both went to Austin's Westlake High. They just did it 10 years apart.
"Westlake has had a lot of athletes, all around the board, every sport, women's and men's athletes, do a great job," Foles told NJ.com. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't go to Westlake. The coaches I had there, the teachers I had there, the people I grew up with, when I'm out there playing, I'm playing for all those people who helped me get there.
"It was a special place for me. I know it's a special place for Drew. Westlake is still doing well."
It is particularly special for Brees, who in 1996 led Westlake to its only state championship and was named most valuable offensive player in Class 5A, Texas' largest class.
Ten years later Foles took Westlake -- which won its division every year from 1989-2006 -- to the brink of its second title, but lost to one of Texas' most famous programs, Southlake Carroll out of Dallas.
Because of all this, Foles and Brees both keep up with their alma mater. Brees knew all about Foles, even before this week.
"I've followed his career," he said.
Foles and Brees followed similar paths out of central Texas, too. Both went to Big Ten schools, Brees to Purdue and Foles to Michigan State, though Foles soon transferred to Arizona. They also are both strongly associated with NFL passing records. Brees owns a bunch of them -- single-season completion percentage (71.2), consecutive games with a passing touchdown (54), fastest player to reach 40,000 passing yards. Foles hasn't been around long enough to chase any career marks, but he did tie the NFL record for single-game passing touchdowns (7) and set the record for single-season touchdown-interception ratio (27:2).
Eagles tight end James Casey, another native Texan, had a simple observation.
"It's not surprising they are from Texas and play quarterback," Casey told NJ.com. "There are a lot of guys in the NFL from Texas that play quarterback."
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