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BEAVER, Utah (AP) -- Some inmates at the Beaver County Correctional Facility had a surprise guest speaker when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees showed up at the southern Utah jail.
County officials had heard he was coming, but even they were skeptical.
"I was pretty blown away by the idea that somebody like him would come to a small town like Beaver, Utah," said Sgt. Curt Heslington of the Beaver County Sheriff's Department. "But, lo and behold, Drew Brees showed up today."
Brees spoke Friday to 124 inmates in the Beaver County Residential Treatment Program. In a pair of one-hour sessions, Brees encouraged the inmates with reflections on the trials and tribulations of his life and career.
"What Drew Brees did for us was incredible," Heslington said. "He just basically focused on the highs and lows of life. It was highly motivating, not only for our residents but for me and for the staff."
The Saints signed Brees as a free agent after San Diego let him go to make way for Philip Rivers. In his first season with New Orleans, Brees passed for 4,418 yards and 26 touchdowns, leading the Saints to the NFC title game.
Heslington said Brees signed some autographs and posed for a few pictures after his speeches, then left town as quietly as he had arrived.
"I think he made a big impact and had a big influence on everybody," said Wes McMullin, supervisor of the treatment program. "It was a big shocker to see somebody like that in Beaver, and I think that meant a lot to our inmates."
------ Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-06-09-07 1745MDT