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“Everything I do out in the yard—throwing the baseball with my brother or the football with my dad—always turns into an accuracy contest,” says Drew Brees. And practice, in the case of this twenty-year-old quarterback, has made near-perfect. As the starter at Austin’s Westlake High School during his junior and senior years, Brees never lost a game, going 26-0-1. After leading the Chaparrals to a state title in 1996, he enrolled at Purdue University, in Indiana, where he has continued to dominate. Last year he broke ten national, conference, and school records, including the Big Ten marks for most passing yards in a season (3,983) and most touchdown passes in a season (39), and tied the NCAA record for most completions in a game (55). He ended the year by leading the Boilermakers in an upset over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl. Now a junior, he opens the 1999 season on September 4, after being named a preseason all-American and knowing that he will be in the thick of the Heisman trophy hunt. But as he concentrates on his game, he refuses to buy into the hype—or the criticism. “People are going to say you’re not big enough, strong enough, or fast enough,” he says, “but you’ve just got to play.”