Colt Brennan, Hawaii's record setting quarterback, was drafted in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins in April 2008. The road to the NFL was a rocky one, full of obstacles and adversity. This is his story.
Colton James Brennan was born Aug. 16, 1983, and began playing quarterback at the tender age of 10 in Pop Warner. Early on, Colt displayed the talent and play making ability that would eventually lead to the NFL, yet things would not would not be handed to him. Colt would be forced to earn every opportunity along the way.
Mater Dei High School in Irvine, Calif., is a member of the CIF, one of the strongest conferences in the state of California. As a sophomore, Colt would backup Matt Leinart now of the Arizona Cardinals.
He had the distinction of leading a group of reserves to a victory over Leinart and the first team during an inter squad scrimmage. His father would remark, "you keep this up, and you"ll be in the pros!"
In 2002, Colt accepted a scholarship to the University of Colorado where he was red shirted. After a night of drinking, he allegedly entered the dorm room of a female student uninvited and was later arrested and charged.
After entering a plea he was sentenced to a week in jail and probation until his graduation from College. Colt was promptly expelled and forced to return home. His college football career was in ruin before it even began.
2004 would mark Colt's return to the football field. He enrolled at Saddleback JC in Mission Viejo, Calif. Colt would lead Saddleback to a 9-4 record including a conference championship, throwing for 2400 YD's and 24 TD's.
After the season Colt was offered scholarships from Syracuse and San Jose State. The Syracuse administration would later rescind the offer due to the felony on his record. Enter June Jones.
June took over the Hawaii coaching job in 1999 from Fred Von Appen. June promised a turn around with his high-flying run and shoot pro style offense. That first season was pure magic for Hawaii fans, 9-4 and a Bowl.
There was hope for Hawaii football, and June was on the hunt for kids who could throw the rock. In 2005, JJ offered Colt a chance to walk on at UH as a replacement to all-time yardage leader Timmy Chang. Colt jumped at the challenge.
I went to my first UH football game at the age of 10 with my father in 1978. Dick Tomey was the coach at the time and it was billed as "The year of the WAC." Dick Tomey is somewhat of a defensive guru, yet his anemic spread offense centered around a running quarterback.
Having been a fan of Jim Plunkett and Joe Montana I dreamed that someday a truly great pure passer would come along. I waited and waited. Then in 2005, he arrived.
The 2005 UH season began with No. 1 ranked USC. A freshman, Tyler Graunke, started the game, but it was clear from the outset that this game was a mismatch. At the start of the second half there was a quarterback change.
I frantically scanned the program for No. 15. The old Japanese man sitting next to me said, "Colt Brennan, huh? Let's see what the kid can do." He looked a little skinny and threw it side arm, gunslinger style.
Even though the game was lost, Colt threw for 250 YD's and a TD. He looked good, but it was still too soon to tell.
Colt's first start came in the third game of the season against Idaho. He threw for 347 YD's and 3 TDs in the win. After that game 400-500 YD's and 3-4 TD's would become the norm and just a taste of things to come. He would finish 2005 with 4,301 yards and 35 TDs.
After a close loss to Alabama in the 2006 opener, Colt would begin to roll. In no time, Colt was all over ESPN, the talk began that if he entered the draft he would be a first or second-round pick.
Colt had barely arrived and now it looked as though he would be gone. I went to the final regular season against Purdue knowing we could soon be losing our golden armed Warrior.
With the score tied at 35, Colt confidently took the field, and in a mere 30 seconds drove 80 yards for the game-winning score. Vintage Colt Brennan!
Hawaii would face ASU that year in the Hawaii Bowl. My boss gave me two tickets on the 50 yard line. "Probably the last time you'll get to see Colt." He said as he handed me the ticket's. "Yup, thanks boss," is all I could say.
UH came out flat, and by halftime the score was 10-3 ASU. I don't know what was said in that locker room, but Colt came out and torched ASU for 559 YD's and 5 TD's for a 41-24 win.
I cried as I drove home that Christmas night, the way I had so many times in my youth after a UH loss. I was sure we had all seen the last of Colt Brennan in a UH uniform, especially since Colt would finish the season with 5,600 yards and 58 TDs.
A few weeks later a press conference was called regarding Colt's future. As we gathered around a T.V. at work, all were certain this was it, the moment we had been dreading.
Colt entered the Room full of UH players and media. With tears streaming from his eyes just as the tears flow as I write this Colt said, "I have decided to forgo the NFL draft and return to UH for my senior year."
The place went wild and everyone was crying tears of joy. He was going to give back to those that had given him a second Chance. One more year of the mighty Colt. Hallelujah!!
The 2007 season is well documented. the undefeated regular season, the Sugar Bowl and the Heisman run. Colt would end his UH career with 14,193 YD's, 131 TD's and 31 NCAA records. Statistically, the most prolific passer in College history.
There was much said about Colt during and after his playing days at UH. He played in the WAC, too small, side armed gunslinger and a system QB.
After the Sugar Bowl and hip surgery his draft stock would see him slide to the 6TH round and the Redskins. I always loved the Redskins and now I loved them even more now that Colt was a Redskin.
As Colt took the field in the second half of the Hall of Fame Game, I crossed my fingers. "Will he or won't he?" I asked my Dad.
He simply replied, "He will, he's gonna be a great one!" The rest of course is history. Many experts called it the greatest debut performance ever by a rookie quarterback. 9-10 125 YD's 2 TD's and a QB rating of 159.5! I would agree.
During Colt's time in Hawaii, he won the hearts and mind of an entire state. Colt Brennan is truly a native son. With all that has been said the one thing that I can't Show you is his heart. Colt is truly a winner.
The debate rages amongst experts and Redskin fans alike, especially with the Redskins current woes. Is Colt ready? The Answer: Colt was born ready!
In the YouTube video, "The truth about Colt Brennan," down 14 points, he addresses his teammates in a circle. "Were down by 14! Believe, believe and we will go undefeated! I love each and everyone of you." UH won the game.
Colt is forever the greatest Warrior, a champion. That's the truth about Colt Brennan.