Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is a Westlake High School (Austin) alum. So is NFL MVP candidate Drew Brees. So, when Ehlinger and the Longhorns wound up in New Orleans for Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl, the questions about Brees connections were natural.
Ehlinger, who broke a number of Brees’ school records during his time with the Chaps, said it was “really cool” to play in the stadium where Brees has set NFL records in an interview with the New Orleans Times Picayune earlier in the week. Then he went out and made a direct Brees connection during his pregame arrival for the bowl game:
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) January 1, 2019
In case you can’t quite see closely enough, that’s Ehlinger donning Brees’ Westlake jersey on top of his gameday business attire. Sure, the high school jersey on top of Alden loafers might have looked a little off, but it sent a strong message.
Brees took notice of the hat tip and reciprocated with strong words of support for his fellow Westlake alum on Instagram.
Perhaps the Georgia defense should have recognized at least a little foreshadowing? Ehlinger produced a truly commanding performance in leading the Longhorns to a deceptively one-sided 28-21 victory, rushing for three touchdowns and 61 yards while passing for 169 yards. His statistics may not have been quite Brees-like, but his grit and determination certainly was.
And against one of the nation’s toughest, most talented defenses, that stood out loudest of all. No one knows if Ehlinger will wear a Brees throwback again, but if he does, whichever team Texas is playing may want to take notice.