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Flashback: Drew Brees Rates Antwaan Randle El for the NFL Combine

Editor’s Note, Feb. 21, 2013: Ahead of the 2002 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis—and before his New Orleans Saints bested the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV—IM asked former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees to give some advice to outgoing IU QB Antwaan Randle El. Brees’s responses (below) originally appeared in the February 2002 issue. Randle El was selected in the second round of the 2002 draft and went on to play eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins. The 2013 combine officially commences this Saturday in Indianapolis.

Although often acknowledged as a hoops hotbed, Indiana will host some big-time football talent when potential draftees convene at the RCA Dome on February 28 for the annual NFL Scouting Combine. Among the candidates is IU quarterback/receiver Antwaan Randle El, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. We asked former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees, who attended the combine last year before being drafted by the San Diego Chargers, to comment on his old college rival's prospects:

Athleticism: “A lot of great athletes aren't necessarily fast, but they're elusive. They have ‘game speed.’ Randle El is definitely one of those guys.”

Competitiveness: “His teammates respond to him. There were times when you saw a defensive lineman jump offsides and hit him. Then you saw the whole offensive line jumping on that lineman because they respected their quarterback. That's evidence of what he meant to that team.”

Size: “I don't think height is a problem [Randle El is 5′10″]. If you ask NFL scouts, they'll say something different. But I'm just a hair over 6 feet and I'm playing behind Doug Flutie, a guy who's about 5–9.”

At the combine: “All people wanted to see me do was throw. It's different for him because he might be going there at four different positions.” 

At the next level: “Randle El seems like he's a pretty hard-working guy. As long as you work hard and you're a team player, you're going to be okay.”

Randle El vs. Brees: “IU's style of offense was more option, so he was running the ball. Our style was chucking the ball around. When we played at their place, he threw for more yards than I did. In the next year, when they came to our place, I rushed for more yards. He beat me at my game, then I beat him at his.”

 

Photos: Drew Brees (via purduesports.com) and Antwaan Randle El (via iuhoosiers.com)