PHILADELPHIA – History will be made Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome by two quarterbacks whose similarities go well beyond the number 9 on each of their jerseys.
The Eagles’ Nick Foles and New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees will become the first former Super Bowl MVPs who attended the same high school to square off in an NFL playoff game when the Eagles and Saints kick off at 4:40 p.m. (FOX).
Each is a graduate of Westlake High (Austin, Texas). The two are 10 years apart; Brees, 39, graduated in 1997, and Foles, 29, in 2007.
“Being from Westlake, knowing who he was as a little kid, I can’t say I remember watching him play,” Foles said Wednesday. “I was probably running around playing tag if I was at a game, throwing a little football. But watching him at Purdue, throughout his career in the NFL, I felt Drew’s a Hall-of-Famer, one of the best quarterbacks.
“But the thing that’s always impressed me is who he is as a person and what he represents and how he impacts the community, how he’s impacted the community in New Orleans and made it his home. It’s more impressive than anything he’s done on the field, so he’s been a great role model for everyone.”
Foles was MVP of last February’s Super Bowl in which the Eagles downed the New England Patriots, 41-33.
The Saints won Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7, 2010, over the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 behind Brees’ record-tying 32 pass completions, which gained 288 yards and resulted in two touchdowns.
At Westlake, Brees guided his teams to a 28-0-1 mark as a two-year starter. Brees led Westlake to a 16-0 record as a senior and a 55-15 win over Abilene Cooper in the Class 5A Division II state championship game in 1996.
That’s Westlake’s only title in eight state championship game appearances from 1990 through 2015, including a 43-29 defeat against Southlake Carroll in the Class 5A Division I final during Foles’ senior season in 2006.
Foles passed for 5,658 yards and 56 touchdowns in his career, breaking the school career marks of 5,461 yards and 50 touchdowns – as well as other records – set by Brees.
Video footage of the two this week showed them in their silver helmets with the red ‘W’ flinging passes for the Chaparrals, Brees wearing No. 15 and Foles in No. 7.
“I don’t think it’s hit us,” Westlake principal Steven Ramsey, who was an assistant coach when Foles was on the team, told KVUE-TV in Austin this week.
“I don’t think it ever will until it actually happens Sunday night that you really see two number nines battling it out to advance in the playoffs that both of those guys went to Westlake, they were both Super Bowl MVPs, until you get to see them play against each other.”