Retired quarterback Drew Brees presented the surprise of a lifetime to Purdue softball player Emilee Cox on Wednesday.
Cox, who happened to be at the West Lafayette, Indiana, Student and Athlete Academic Center named after the icon of the New Orleans Saints, became the recipient of a naming, picture, and portrait contract courtesy of Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux.
Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the restaurant has more than 50 locations across the country and recently launched its “Walk-On of the Week” program, which offers NIL offers for college athletes to run. Recipients of the weekly NIL Awards are invited to join the brand’s Walk-On’s Family of Athletes, which includes Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
The restaurant franchise was founded in 2003 by Brandon Landry, a former LSU basketball player.
Brees became a co-owner of the brand in 2015. During his career at Purdue, he set two NCAA records, 13 Big Ten Conference marks, and 19 school records.
According to a press release, the redesigned Walk-On of the Week program is working with runners to share their stories on the brand’s social media.
“We created this program to highlight the real magic of the sport – the underdog,” Landry said in the press release. “As NIL is transforming the landscape of college athletics, we want to make sure walk-ons aren’t left out and receive the recognition and support they deserve. We are grateful to tell their stories and to welcome them to our family of athletes. “
Cox appeared in 19 games for the Boilermakers before last season was canceled due to COVID-19.