Bye, Bye Brennan?
Opinions vary on whether the Hawaii quarterback should turn pro or return to school
As of yesterday, Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was officially available to be picked by an NFL team in the upcoming draft. Brennan filed the necessary paperwork and met the league's deadline for eligible underclassmen.
"I had it all notarized and my dad faxed it to the NFL for me," he said.
Brennan can pull his name out of draft consideration by Thursday and preserve his remaining season of college eligibility. He was scheduled to announce his intention at a 2 p.m. news conference today at UH.
A veteran NFL scout who has seen Brennan play said another season with the Warriors would be the right choice.
Born: Aug. 16, 1983, in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Notes: 2006 WAC Offensive Player of the Year. ... Sixth in Heisman Trophy voting. ... Broke or tied 19 NCAA and 26 school records in 2006. ... Third-team AP All-American. ... Sat out fourth quarter in six games in 2006. ... Also rushed for 366 yards and five touchdowns in 2006.
» See starbulletin.com at 2 p.m. today for breaking news on Brennan's announcement.
"If I were him I would go back and play (college) one more year," the scout said of Brennan, who was listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds going into last season. "He's a very accurate passer, but he's not very stout and doesn't have a very strong arm. I haven't studied tape on him, but there are probably six or seven (draftable) quarterbacks who I would think are better at this time."
But another scout who has watched him play said Brennan will likely be the third quarterback chosen (behind JaMarcus Russell of LSU and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame), and probably in the first 20 or 25 picks.
"I don't think he'd get to the end of the first round (of the 2007 draft)," he said. "With another good year (at UH) and the team doing well, it could push him up higher, but statistically, how can he get better? What if he throws for 40 touchdowns instead of 58? That's still great, but now might be the time (to turn pro)."
Brennan broke the national record for touchdown passes in a season last fall, and led the country in most other quarterback statistics as UH produced the most points and yards in the country. He was sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting as the Warriors matched the school record for wins with an 11-3 mark.
The NFL's advisory board told Brennan that he would likely be a second-round pick this year.
Brennan said yesterday afternoon that he was still awaiting more information that would weigh in on his decision. One factor on the side of turning pro is Louisville junior Brian Brohm's announcement yesterday that he would remain in school.
"That didn't surprise me," Brennan said. "I thought that when his brother (Jeff) got the (assistant head) job that he would stay, and I heard through the grapevine that's what would happen."
Brennan is intent on graduating from UH, although it might not be in the fall of 2007 as he'd planned. He said it is not a factor in his decision.
"That's the biggest misconception of all. You can always go back to school. It's not like you can get hurt and then you don't have your educational opportunities. But you can get hurt and not be able to play football," Brennan said. "School is always there. Opportunities like this come just once or twice in a lifetime."
Four of Hawaii's five nonconference football games for 2007 have yet to be determined or announced by the school.
"That's not much of a factor," Brennan said. "It plays in a little bit, but not much."
Offensive lineman Wayne Hunter (2002, third round, Seahawks), wide receiver Ashley Lelie (2001, first round, Broncos) and slotback Jeff Sydner (1992, sixth round, Eagles) are other UH players who left for the pros a season early.
If Brennan does not return to UH, junior Tyler Graunke will be the No. 1 quarterback headed into spring practice. Graunke started two games in 2005 before Brennan won the job. Graunke played in seven games in 2006, mostly replacing Brennan in blowouts. He completed 32 of 43 passes for 501 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Other UH quarterbacks are sophomores Inoke Funaki and Will Brogan and freshman Kiran Kepo'o.