Nick Foles Is Just 1 of Multiple NFL Starters Produced by the Austin Quarterback Factory
Nick Foles is making his second start of the 2020 NFL season for the Chicago Bears against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Foles has an impressive resume. He was a Pro Bowler in 2013. Three years ago, he became a household name when he stepped in for an injured Carson Wentz in Philadelphia and became a hero guiding the Eagles to a victory in Super Bowl 52 and earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
Interestingly, Nick Foles was the second quarterback from his high school in Austin, Texas to win the Super Bowl. Currently, Foles is one of three NFL starting quarterbacks whose career began in the capital city of the Lone Star State. Here’s a look at the others who have made their way from Austin to the NFL and a couple of other names to watch who might be joining them very soon.
Drew Brees starred before Nick Foles at Westlake High School
Future first-ballot Hall of Famer Drew Brees starred at Westlake High School in Austin a decade before Nick Foles. While Brees’ career has become one of the greatest in NFL history, you could have never predicted that back when it started in the mid-1990s.
In fact, Brees had only played flag football before he arrived in high school. After starting as a quarterback for the B-team JV squad, Brees steadily made his way up to varsity. All that progress came to a screeching halt during his junior season when he suffered an ACL tear.
That injury also scared away most colleges. Even after his senior season in 1996, when he threw for 3,528 yards and 31 touchdowns and guided the Chaparrals to the Texas 5A state title, there was limited interest. He received two offers from Kentucky and Purdue, eventually playing for the Boilermakers before joining the NFL.
Nick Foles passes Drew Brees’ high school records
Drew Brees blazed the path that Nick Foles followed 10 years later. Unlike Brees, Foles had more experience when he arrived at Westlake High School. It showed during his two seasons as the starter.
In those two years, Foles threw for 5,658 yards and 56 touchdowns, breaking many school records set by Brees a decade earlier. Foles, however, was unable to replicate Brees’ success as a team and lost in the state title game.
Nick Foles attended Michigan State for one season before transferring to the University of Arizona.
Baker Mayfield stars at Lake Travis
While Westlake is known for Drew Brees and Nick Foles, just a few minutes away, Lake Travis High School has produced several NFL quarterbacks of its own, including the 2009 No. 2 prospect in the country Garrett Gilbert, who is on the Cleveland Browns practice squad, and Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield was the star quarterback for the Cavaliers and led Lake Travis to a 25–2 record in two seasons and won the 2011 4A State Championship. He finished his high school football career with 6,255 passing yards and 67 touchdowns.
Upon graduation, Mayfield walked on at Texas Tech and played for a season before transferring to Oklahoma.
More NFL quarterbacks to come?
While Austin has produced four current quarterbacks on NFL rosters, there are potentially two more in the pipeline who could be making the jump in the next year, and unsurprisingly, one played at Westlake and the other at Lake Travis.
University of Texas senior quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Sam Ehlinger played at Westlake. He was a three-year starter and broke Nick Foles’ passing records finishing his career with 7,491 yards and 89 touchdowns.
Baylor University quarterback Charlie Brewer starred at Lake Travis and led the Cavaliers to the 2016 6A state title. He finished his career throwing for 8,343 yards and 107 TDs.
Austin has been known for decades for its music scene with Austin City Limits and the South by Southwest Music Festival. However, in the suburbs west of town, it’s also developed a reputation as a quarterback factory. And right now, the production line is humming along.