Aidan O’Connell received the Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award last Monday.

The man himself sent O’Connell praise for his achievement soon after.

“I can think of no better person, no better player, no better student, no better candidate to be receiving this award,” Brees said via Purdue football’s official Twitter account. “Aidan, it’s hard to believe everything you’ve overcome from coming in as a walk-on quarterback for the Purdue Football team, just putting your head down and continuing to focus and work each and every day, overcoming plenty of hardship and injury, adversity in order to put yourself in the position to be the starter, to be a leader and to do so much for the Purdue Football Program.”

The rest of Brees’ message can be heard below:

O’Connell joined the Purdue program in as a walk-on and rose the ranks through injury. He will return for the Boilermakers for a sixth year of eligibility and will pursue a Master’s degree for the 2022-23 season.

He posted solid numbers in 2019 and 2020, but nothing like what he did in his fifth year. O’Connell posted a 3,712 yard season complete with 28 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions, leading the Boilermakers to key wins over Iowa, Michigan State and Tennessee in the Music City Bowl.

O’Connell combined for 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in the games listed above.