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QB hotbed: Brees, Foles share high school

1/2/2014

METAIRIE, La. -- For all those NFL teams in rebuilding mode right now, here's a tip: Go and scout the talent at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas.

That's where both New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles came from -- a pretty remarkable achievement for any one school, even a Texas football powerhouse like Westlake.

When Brees and Foles face off Saturday night in Philadelphia, it will mark just the second time in NFL history that two quarterbacks from the same high school meet in a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other was 1974, when the Pittsburgh Steelers' Terry Bradshaw and the Buffalo Bills' Joe Ferguson both came from Woodlawn High School in Shreveport, La.

Mark Sanchez and Carson Palmer, who met in the 2009 playoffs, both attended Santa Margarita Catholic in California. However, Sanchez transferred after his sophomore year.

Brees is still cherished in the Westlake community since he led the team to their only state championship in 1996. But Foles broke Brees' career records for passing yards and touchdowns while leading Westlake to the state title game 10 years later.

Although they obviously know a lot about each other, they actually just met for the first time last year before a Saints-Eagles game in New Orleans.

"Obviously I heard a lot about him when he was in high school at Westlake, but there was a 10-year age difference," Brees said. "I followed his career. I follow a lot of the guys that leave Westlake and go on and kind of track what they are doing. But Nick, I know he went to Michigan State and then transferred to Arizona and had a great career there and then goes to Philadelphia, and look at what he has done. He has been pretty impressive for such a young player, mature beyond his years.

"I wouldn't say that I am all that surprised because he is a Westlake guy. He has played great."

Likewise, Foles said he heard a lot about Brees growing up, and he has always followed and studied him throughout his career.

"Drew is a tremendous player. He's a guy that I've looked up to as a kid," said Foles, who said Brees is a great role model for what he does both on and off the field. "He's a fun guy to keep track of and just seeing what he did throughout his career and continues to do through his career is exciting. His name is still talked about at Westlake I'm sure, and I know everybody's real proud of him."

Brees and Foles followed remarkably similar paths to the NFL. Both overcame serious injuries in high school (a torn ACL for Brees, a shoulder injury for Foles). And both were lightly recruited out of high school (you'd think someone in Texas would have seen the light?!)

Brees was an early second-round draft pick in the NFL. Foles was a third-rounder. Brees probably came into the NFL with a little more hype and expectations, though. Foles began this season as a backup behind Michael Vick before he took control of the job and began a remarkable run of success in new coach Chip Kelly's offense.

Foles has thrown for 2,891 yards in 10 starts, with 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. He leads the NFL with a passer rating of 119.2.

Brees hasn't been shabby himself, with 5,162 yards, 39 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 104.7.