How Brett Favre's Influence Helped Myles Brennan to Elite 11

Tyler DonohueNational Recruiting AnalystJuly 6, 2016

Credit: Student Sports

Still more than a year away from his first collegiate football season, Myles Brennan is already receiving a Hall of Fame education at quarterback.

A monstrous junior campaign left little doubt Brennan is the most impressive high school quarterback prospect in Mississippi, propelling him toward heightened interest on the recruiting trail. Along the way, his journey led to the front door of a football legend.

Revered NFL quarterback Brett Favre, a native of nearby Kiln, Mississippi, felt it necessary to place eyeballs on the up-and-coming local standout. His brother, Scott, whose sons have also played for perennial contender St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, set the stage for a quarterback connection.

“Scott Favre called me and said, ‘Brett wants to know who is this kid Myles Brennan? Is he as good as the headlines? Is he really throwing for this many yards?’ Brett wanted to meet him to see what Myles is all about," Brennan's father, Owen, told Bleacher Report.

Owen relayed the message to his son, who initially shrugged it off as a joke.

"I told my dad to stop messing with me," Myles said.

Favre, a 2016 NFL Hall of Fame inductee and three-time league MVP marveled at Brennan's accomplishments just like many in the region. The 6'3", 180-pound prospect passed for 11,045 yards and 117 touchdowns during the past two seasons in head coach Bill Conides' high-powered aerial attack.

Just months removed from a 2015 season that featured four games with at least 400 passing yards—including a 550-yard, seven-touchdown assault in the state semifinal, per MaxPreps—Brennan had a difficult time wrapping his head around the latest development in his football career.

“He didn’t believe it about Brett," Owen said. "No way did he think I was telling him the truth, but then I said tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock we’re driving up to Hattiesburg (where Favre resides) to throw with him. Then Myles got serious.”

Favre has kept an eye on St. Stanislaus for years, following his nephew's emergence as team leader. Dylan Favre set state records for single-season passing yards and touchdown tosses in 2009 before signing with Mississippi State.

Brennan broke both those marks in 2014 as a sophomore (5,797 yards and 64 scores) and is now mentoring St. Stanislaus freshman Max Favre, another nephew of the NFL icon.

"I can tell he looks up to me right now but one day it’s going to be his time to shine," Brennan said about the latest Favre to hit high school turf in southern Mississippi. 

With Brett Favre's fingers on the pulse of an impressive program, there's little surprise Brennan landed on his radar.

“Brett has come to our games to watch and he’s very connected with people at the school, but I had never met him before," Coach Conides said. "Then it kind of comes through the grapevine that Brett wants to meet Myles, and we were fortunate enough to schedule a meeting.”

This interaction occurred in Hattiesburg at Oak Grove High School, where Favre served as offensive coordinator during a 2013 state title run. Accompanied by Conides and his father, Brennan suddenly found himself under the tutelage of an all-time great.

“Brett never said a word about himself or his pro career, he made it all about Myles," Owen said. "I think that just put Myles totally at ease, and he realized they were just there to talk football and get better. Myles immersed himself.”

Favre surveyed the scene as this celebrated young quarterback worked through drills. The hype, it seemed, was indeed warranted.

"He was very positive the whole time and didn't really criticize anything I did," Brennan said. "He liked the velocity and the footwork. The most important thing he pointed out was to stay focused mentally. Mental preparation is so important, whether it’s watching film or studying the playbook. Brett was always afraid to underprepare as a player, so he’d overprepare and look for every little tendency. That’s something I hope to take away from him.

"It's definitely a privilege and I felt honored to throw for one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever go through the NFL. That's a lot different than throwing in front of a scout or recruits. It was special that he wanted to see what I can do."

Brennan has attributes to become a college football star.
Brennan has attributes to become a college football star.Credit: Student Sports

Conides, who constantly works to sharpen Brennan's quarterback attributes throughout the year, was proud of the first impression his pupil made on the soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

“Brett watches Myles throw and he says, ‘Wow, there’s nothing I can point out that he really needs to work on. He’s got it,'" Conides said. "But then he offered to do anything he could to help, whether it was mental stuff or watching film together or talking about his experiences. I think he walked away very impressed with Myles.”

That mid-winter workout remains the only one between Brennan and Favre. However, it was only a launching point.

"Brett said he just wants to be part of this journey," Brennan said. "He doesn’t often see highly recruited athletes come out of the area. He has a lot of local pride and so do I, so it's really something special.”

While many retired superstar professional athletes end up settling into high-profile media or business gigs in large consumer markets, Favre elected to keep things simple back home. The community continues to embrace him wholeheartedly two decades after he led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory.

“We’re extremely fortunate that Brett is from this area," Owen said. "We live about five miles from where he grew up in Kiln, where they have a big sign that says, ‘Welcome to the Home of Brett Favre.’ He’s a local legend, but he can go wherever he wants around town and no one will bother him because this is his home. He’s one of us.”

Favre celebrated a Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots following the 1996 season.
Favre celebrated a Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots following the 1996 season.Rogers Photo Archive/Getty Images

Brennan followed up his initial workout at Oak Grove with multiple visits to Favre's home in Hattiesburg, which must have felt like a small slice of heaven for the 17-year-old football junkie.

"He has a whole football field in his backyard and a theater room to break down film," Brennan said. "It's a pretty awesome setup that any quarterback would love."

Sitting together in front of the big screen, Favre and Brennan shared offensive philosophies and pizza slices. Drawing from a 20-season professional career that featured matchups against defensive stalwarts such as Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp, Favre unloaded a wealth of knowledge upon his eager guest.

"It's a completely different perspective because he's seen it all at every level," Brennan said. "He pointed me in the right direction with what to look for and how to handle so many situations. It's just a different level of intensity in preparation, and I know not many young quarterbacks get to experience that."

At times, their conversation shifted away from formations and schematics.

“Brett has given him invaluable advice about the quarterback position," Owen said. "Not only on the X’s and O’s on the field, but how to handle the recruiting attention, about the kind of man you’re supposed to be and what a team is looking for in a leader.”

Favre will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this summer.
Favre will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this summer.Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

Sessions with Favre and day-to-day diligence with Conides helped put Brennan in position to earn an invitation to national Elite 11 finals June 3-5 in Redondo Beach, California. Competing alongside 23 other top college quarterback recruits, he needed to be sharp to join the Elite 11 fraternity as one of 12 invitees to The Opening, an acclaimed national showcase held July 5-10 at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

“You can prepare, prepare and prepare, and do all the right things leading up to that moment, but it’s a matter of how you perform when the lights come on," Conides said.

Brennan proved ready for prime time, drawing parallels to the newest No. 1 NFL draft pick.

"He’s a super impressive kid," Elite 11 head coach and Super Bowl champion quarterback Trent Dilfer told Luke Stampini of 247Sports (via 247Sports' Shea Dixon). "We always try to do these comparisons now because we have kind of a large sample size of guys playing college football and in the NFL. He has [Jared] Goff-like qualities. The look is kind of similar and the frame is kind of similar, but he’s got more twitch than Jared."

When the dust settled after three arduous days of action in Southern California, Brennan punched his ticket to Beaverton, where he'll compete for Elite 11 MVP honors. Event alumni include Goff, Jameis Winston, Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck.

"It's an honor, and I feel like I went out and earned it," he said. "I prepared for this a long time. ... I'm always trying to attack defenses anytime there's an opportunity. My goal is to make the other team pay for every mistake, so that makes preparation so important."

Brennan, who committed to LSU on April 23, is rated No. 18 among pro-style passers in composite rankings but has the makings of a top-10 positional talent in the 2017 recruiting class. That's promising news for Tigers fans who've witnessed the team's downfield efforts sputter in recent years.

"He could be the pocket passer they’ve never had and really lift that offense to a different level in the SEC," Student Sports president Brian Stumpf said during Bleacher Report's Elite 11 reveal broadcast

Brennan will further prepare for his collegiate future this fall, when St. Stanislaus transitions from an uptempo attack—which Conides described as, “When the ref puts the ball on the ground, we’re going"—to a more methodical approach that requires him to operate in a huddle and under center with greater frequency.

“That’ll make [LSU offensive coordinator] Cam Cameron happy," Conides said. "From day one, he’s probably the most coachable kid I’ve ever encountered. ... He’s a quarterback, plain and simple. And when it comes to the position of quarterback, it is the most scrutinized position in the entire world with the exception of probably the President of the United States. It’s incredibly nuanced.”

Brennan already boasts mind-boggling stats, coveted physical stature and an Elite 11 skill set. With a legend like Favre now part of his support staff, few quarterbacks in this class claim a comparable career trajectory.

“I don’t see a ceiling to be honest with you," Conides said. "Where he wants to go is completely up to him. Does he want be a great college quarterback? Does he want to be a first-round draft pick? I know for a fact he wants to play in the NFL. All Myles needs to do is to continue with what he’s worked for on a daily basis. Quarterback is his job and that’s what he wants out of life.”

Brennan takes the job seriously and aims to further establish understanding in this department through future sessions with Favre. He anticipates upcoming interactions before autumn and said they've discussed the possibility of playing a round of golf together in the near future.

“Hopefully I’ll always be able to pick up the phone and call him, whether it’s these last months of high school or moving on to college in years to come," Brennan said. "If I hit rock bottom and need some support or guidance, obviously I have my family, but it’s huge to have someone like Brett who has been through it all before and can share what he learned along the way.

"He was the kind of quarterback I dreamed and aspired to be. Now all these years later I’m getting to build a relationship with him, which is so unreal."

 

Quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue unless otherwise noted. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings.

Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.