Hawaii football hero deserves attention
Warriors quarterback Colt Brennan is getting national attention as a Heisman candidate.
DESPITE a weak schedule that begins next Saturday, Hawaii's football program is receiving unprecedented national attention. The interest is based not only on the real possibility of an undefeated season but by the poignant rise to stardom of quarterback Colt Brennan, chronicled in the featured story of today's New York Times college football preview.
Warrior fans have no reason to worry that Brennan may crumble under such pressure. The Times article tells how he overcame self-made difficulties, learned in Hawaii to alter his values, has been embraced by the community and is giving back many-fold.
A reserve quarterback at the University of Colorado, Brennan was accused of sexual assault and other charges by a female neighbor in January 2004. Admitting that he "messed up," Brennan denied criminal intent but was convicted of burglary and criminal trespass and dropped from the team.
Brennan played the next season at a junior college near his parents' home in Irvine, Calif., and Hawaii assistant coach Rich Miano noticed his football-throwing ability in a film of a teammate. Coach June Jones lured Brennan to Hawaii but without a scholarship because of the Colorado incident.
"I had gone through a real embarrassing time in my life," Brennan told Times reporter Pete Thamel. "I was humiliated and I needed to go find myself somewhere else. Hawaii had that appeal to it. It was my getaway, my escape."
Brennan visits a school, a detention center or a youth camp about once a week to speak about making good decisions and overcoming adversity. He has chosen to delay his professional career so he can finish his senior year.
"It was Hawaii that made me say that money isn't important anymore," he told Thamel. "Friends and family and having people around you are more important."
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