In college, Drew Brees was a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and a Maxwell Award winner. He brought Purdue to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 34 years.
He was also an industrial engineering minor.
"I always knew I wanted a management degree and a business degree," Brees says. "But going to Purdue and it being a top-five engineering school, I said I've got to incorporate this into my major somehow, and that made the most sense. Honestly, it was challenging, and that probably is not my greatest strength."
His knowledge of industrial engineering is relevant today. Brees is part of Verizon's new #weneedmore campaign that encourages kids to pursue science and technology rather than hoping for a career as a pro athlete (or supermodel). Brees starred in the first spot with LeBron James, David Villa and Adriana Lima, stating, "We don't need more Drews."
It's a bold move to go on the record saying the world doesn't need more of your profession -- the spot will premiere on TV during the Final Four -- but Brees feels confident in his point, thanks in part to his studies in West Lafayette.
"It's very self-explanatory," Brees says. "We need more kids and young people that are interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. So how do you do that? You get them exposed to it at an earlier age. Think about our society and technical advancements and just how science and math play a role in that and the role that's played in that hanging around the game of football and professional sports in general.
"We need more people that are interested in the behind-the-scenes stuff, all the stuff that really makes that go and really will advance our society forward. I see Purdue graduates around the country all the time that are in those fields and are highly successful and really had some great opportunities through that."
The Verizon Innovative Learning initiative has committed $160 million "in free tech, free access and hands-on immersive learning" in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Karl-Anthony Towns and Joey Logano, although not featured in the first video, are also part of the campaign.