Drew Brees was a star quarterback for the Purdue Boilermakers and led the program to its last Rose Bowl appearance in 2001.

Now Brees, nearing the end of his certain Hall of Fame career in the NFL, is welcoming the 2021 incoming class of kids to West Lafayette, where in typically earnest fashion he addressed the new high-school graduates adventuring into the Big Ten for the first time.

Brees started the video by called himself a “proud Purdue Boilermaker, class of 2001.”Β 

Despite a historically rough stretch of football for Purdue that runs back almost twelve years now, Brees was highly optimistic about the experience offered on the campus in north-west Indiana.Β 

“I can promise you it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made,” said the former All-American. “You will get an incredible football experience . . . . and one of the best college degrees you can possibly get, one you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life. And, most importantly, you will learn to lead.”

Purdue’s class is currently ranked 14th in the Big Ten and 83rd nationally, though that can change. The Boilers are struggling through a difficult 2020, finishing the season 2-4 while losing three opportunities to play because of issues with Covid-19.Β 

But Brees knows what it’s like to be part of a group that turns around a football program, he did it himself 20 years ago now at his alma mater. And he’s never stopped believing.Β 

“Remember, it’s a privilege to be a Boilermaker,” said Brees, and left the rest for the players to handle.Β