'Brennan for Heisman' gains some momentum
UH plans to unveil a Web site and start an e-mail campaign promoting Brennan as a Heisman candidate
Electoral campaigns have ended around the country, but one's just getting started.
It's for Colt Brennan, Heisman Trophy candidate.
The University of Hawaii is trying to get more of the national college football media used to the idea.
So is the UH junior quarterback, while remaining focused on winning the Warriors' (7-2, 5-1 WAC) remaining five games, beginning with Saturday's against Louisiana Tech (3-6, 1-3) at Aloha Stadium.
Brennan leads the country in several major categories and has paced UH to six consecutive victories. Because of that combination, he is getting noticed nationally and could find himself among the finalists invited to the Hilton New York for the Heisman presentation Dec. 9.
"I'm not going to run out and buy a suit right now, but I'll gladly deal with that if it gets to the point I need to," Brennan said. "That kind of attention just helps the (UH) program, can make the program better for years to come. It would be an unbelievable experience just to be a finalist."
UH expects to unveil a Web site this week dedicated to promoting Brennan as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Also, Brennan updates will be e-mailed to college football media around the country.
The Heisman Trophy winner is determined by nearly 1,000 media members who cover college football who vote first-through-third for the game's most outstanding player.
An ESPN.com panel of 15 Heisman watchers, including former players and coaches, has Brennan ranked fifth this week. Ohio State's Troy Smith remains the unanimous No. 1 choice.
Brennan said he's flattered by the attention, but doesn't think he'll be considered seriously by many voters because he doesn't play in a BCS conference.
"I've never seen small-school kids get into the race," he said.
Brennan did see his former Mater Dei High School teammate, Matt Leinart, win the award in 2004. Another quarterback from Mater Dei, John Huarte, won the Heisman Trophy while playing for Notre Dame in 1964.
Brennan won the Walter Camp Foundation Offensive Player of the Week award for his six-touchdown, 413-yard performance in a 63-10 win at Utah State on Saturday. He also won the WAC Offensive Player of the Week award for the third time.
He was interviewed for a Sports Illustrated (Web site) story yesterday, and the Los Angeles Times is planning a feature story on him this week.
Brennan was on ESPN so much Sunday that he said he got sick of seeing himself.
"I'm not gonna say I don't appreciate it. I just hope the love starts to get spread evenly around the team," he said.
Brennan is very accommodating to media, but the demands will increase if he continues to play the way he has this season down the stretch.
"He is holding up pretty well," UH sports media relations director Lois Manin said. "He has got it together. He gets it. Just like (former UH quarterback) Dan Robinson. He doesn't shy away from (media attention), but he doesn't demand it. He doesn't get grumpy if he doesn't get it. He pumps up his teammates."
Brennan was asked if he would prefer UH finishing the season ranked or himself winning the Heisman Trophy.
"The only way I could win the Heisman is if the team is in the Top 25," Brennan said. "Obviously even an invitation would be great for the program. I would want anything that would help the program. Individual awards usually go to guys on the best teams."
He said having his name increasingly linked to the award doesn't add pressure.
"The main thing is I don't have any pressure to produce stats, I have pressure to win. Having as much talent and help around me as I do takes pressure off me. I learned last year that wins are everything. Winning is the only reason I'm getting the notoriety," Brennan said.
"Winning is such a night and day feeling from last year (when UH went 5-7). I can't imagine any team having more fun than us right now."
Coach June Jones said Brennan is deserving of any honors that come his way.
Starting free safety Leonard Peters and cornerback A.J. Martinez both underwent MRI tests yesterday to determine the severity of knee injuries suffered in Saturday's 63-10 victory at Utah State.
Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said Peters will probably be able to play. If he is held out, Dane Porlas or Mike Malala could replace him, or strong safety Jake Patek could move over from strong safety with Malala or Desmond Thomas moving into Patek's spot.
Ryan Keomaka, who has interceptions in two consecutive games, or Gerard Lewis could play in place of Martinez. Martinez started Saturday, but was replaced by Lewis after missing a tackle.
"We'll see how the week goes," Glanville said.
Three players from the offense moved to the defensive line yesterday to shore up the injury depleted front three.
Junior guard Larry Sauafea, junior running back Siave Seti and freshman tackle Adrian Thomas joined the defense yesterday after Laupepa Letuli and Rocky Savaiigaea joined three other Warrior defensive ends who were hurt the previous week.
"They're all smart kids and what we do is pretty simple," defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold said. "So I don't worry too much about them picking it up."
The good news is end Fale Laeli returned to practice after missing six games with a partially-torn ACL.
"I thought it was going to be bad today, that I was going to be out of shape. But it was good. I ran mostly everything," Laeli said. "The past two days I had to go on a major diet to get from 305 (pounds) to 288 (close to his playing-weight of 285)."
Two other injured ends might be back sooner than expected. Renolds Fruean (ankle) might be back in time for the Nov. 18 San Jose State game and Keala Watson (knee) for the Nov. 25 Purdue game, Jones said.
Nose tackle Kahai LaCount missed yesterday's workout for another commitment, but will likely be able to play Saturday despite a chest injury that took him out of last week's game.
More road games next year?:
Athletic director Herman Frazier has the four unannounced opponents on next year's schedule arranged, Jones said.
"About two and a half weeks ago and he assured me that he's about got things pretty much lined up," said Jones, who added that all the opponents will be Division I-A teams.
He declined to name the schools.
"I'll let him break it to you," Jones said. "I think that a couple of them might be on the road."
In addition to four conference road games, UH also has one scheduled at UNLV on Sept. 15.