Drew Brees, Purdue University

We all know Drew is a legend on the football field. His name is all over the record books and he is the highest rated signal caller in the Cradle of Quarterbacks. What makes him stand out even more is that he is an excellent human being off the field. He sees it as responsibility to give back because he has been blessed with so much, and that is why we are so proud of him as Purdue fans.

When Brees was named as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year last year his primary achievement was being the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. In reality, he is a hero both in the city of New Orleans and to Purdue. When he arrived as a free agent in New Orleans before the 2006 season the city was still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Brees himself was a question mark, as a devastating shoulder injury suffered in the final game of the 2005 season left many questioning if he could play at the same level.

He and his wife Brittany embraced the city of New Orleans though. They made it their home and he became the leader of a community coalition that worked to rebuild the devastated city. On the field he made the Saints a contender, culminating in that Super Bowl victory, but off the field his Brees Dream Foundation, along with Operation Kids has worked to rebuild and restore and recreate academic and athletic facilities, parks and playgrounds, after-school programs, mentoring programs for the intellectually disabled, neighborhood revitalization projects and child care facilities within New Orleans.

Brees has become known as Breesus in New Orleans, a moniker we have been more than happy to adopt as Purdue fans. He has given back to us as well. Drew and Brittany gave the athletic department $2 million for the Drew and Brittany Brees Student Athlete Academic Center. Drew realized that he was more than an athlete at Purdue. he was also a student. It is no surprise that his gift focused on academics given that he was the Academic All-American of the year in 2000.

When I was asked to write this post I knew there would be several worthy candidate such as Kyle Adams for his work in Haiti, but Brees has also exceeded his expectations off the field. As I said, Brees recognizes that he has been given much, therefore it is his responsibility to give back. It is an honor to have him associated with Purdue.

To see the rest of the Buick Human Highlight Reel, and even share a story of your own, go to ncaa.com/buick. This post is sponsored by Buick.

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