Purdue quarterback Drew Brees, a Heisman Trophy candidate this year as a junior, said today he will return to school in 2000 to play his senior season.
Brees made his announcement on campus after a private meeting with Coach Joe Tiller and his teammates.
"It's better for most people including myself to stay another year," Brees said. "An extra year will provide me with a bit more maturity."
Brees, a native of Austin, Texas, told reporters he wanted to announce the decision as soon as possible because rumors circulating about his future were festering, and he wanted to end debate about whether he would enter the NFL draft early.
The Boilermakers (6-4) are coming off a loss this weekend to Wisconsin, which the media billed as a contest between two contenders for the Heisman Trophy Brees and Badgers' running back Ron Dayne.
Brees said he feels he has goals still to achieve at Purdue.
As a junior, Brees has thrown for 3,334 yards and 21 touchdowns through 10 games. The Boilermakers are off this weekend and close their season Nov. 20 on the road against instate rival Indiana.
"I think next year we have a chance to do a lot of great things with this football team," Brees said.
Brees said he does not think about winning the Heisman Trophy, and that the potential of becoming a favorite in the race for college football's top prize next season did not factor into his decision.
Brees met with his family on Sunday and they made the decision together, he said.
"I'm glad Drew had the opportunity to meet with his family and make this decision," Tiller said. "It's great that the decision went this way."
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