RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
NFL scouts will get the answers to many of their questions about Colt Brennan at the combine in Indianapolis.
Colt gets a chance to answer his critics
Brennan tries to pack on pounds before combine
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Colt Brennan says it's nothing new.
"Whenever I get criticized, I always seem to prove them wrong in the end," said Brennan, who was third in the Heisman Trophy voting after leading Hawaii to an undefeated 2007 regular season.
Tomorrow through Tuesday, RCA Dome, Indianapolis, NFL Network, live workouts, Saturday-Tuesday beginning at 6 a.m. Hawaii time
Questions abound as the former UH quarterback heads to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine. This time they are about weight, arm strength and adaptability from the run-and-shoot to a traditional NFL system. The questions are amplified after sub-par performances in the Sugar Bowl and Senior Bowl.
Some of his plusses are accuracy and scrambling ability. And Brennan has often used an underdog attitude to his advantage.
He joins former teammates Davone Bess, Ryan Grice-Mullins and Jason Rivers (all receivers) and Waimea High product Jordon Dizon (ex-Colorado linebacker) at the combine. Physical exams and interviews begin tomorrow.
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Diet means something much different to Colt Brennan than most other people concerned about their weight.
The former Hawaii quarterback's mission the past month has been to bulk up for his weigh-in this week at the NFL Combine.
"Basically, calories. I'm being encouraged to eat a lot," Brennan said in a phone interview from his home in California yesterday. "I eat healthy three times a day, and then a lot of In-N-Out (burgers) and a lot of Philly cheesesteaks."
Meals are delivered to Brennan by the Sunfare Diet company. Snacking is encouraged very much.
"A lot of trans-fatty food," he said.
The 6-foot-2 Brennan weighed in at 186 pounds at the Senior Bowl last month. He said a flu caused him to lose weight. Yesterday, Brennan said he was sick again recently, but this time he didn't lose weight. He declined to disclose his weight, for fear of "jinxing" himself at the weigh-in in Indianapolis.
Brennan's diet isn't conducive to speed, so he'll hold off on running the 40 until UH's Pro Day on April 1 in Carson, Calif. He also doesn't plan any other time drills or to bench press. Brennan will participate in the quarterback drills.
Brennan started last season around 200 pounds. He said off-field demands contributed to a gradual weight loss during the Warriors' 12-1 season during which the team -- and Brennan in particular -- was often in the national spotlight.
"I was put into a tough situation," Brennan said. "I had to make up three incomplete classes, plus three classes last fall to graduate. All the media and public demands, no one will ever understand."
He said morning practice, interviews and classes affected his diet.
"I didn't eat before practice, and by the time my interviews were done there wasn't any (training table) breakfast left, or I had to go to class," he said. "Sometimes my first meal wasn't until 2 or 3 p.m."
To critics who say he should have done more to keep his weight up, Brennan responds:
"They say I obviously wasn't thinking long-term," he said. "That's true, because we were just trying to get through each week, one at a time."
Brennan decided to return for his senior season at Hawaii after a junior year in which he broke the NCAA record by throwing 58 touchdown passes and was projected as a late first- or early second-round draft pick.
He finished third in the 2007 Heisman Trophy balloting after leading UH to a 12-0 regular-season record. But now many pundits consider him a mid-round draft choice at best.
"You can look at all your Mel Kipers, but they don't matter," Brennan said. "Feedback I'm getting from GMs and coaches tells a lot different story. Pro Day and the Combine are huge for me. They can make me a first-day pick."
An NFL scout who considered Brennan a late first-round pick for last year's draft said "the fifth round is a very real possibility" if Brennan doesn't show something before the draft.
"After the Senior Bowl his stock definitely dropped," the scout said. "There's no 185-pound quarterbacks playing. There's also a little bit of an arm-strength question and he has to make the transition (to dropping back)."
But the scout compared Brennan to another quarterback who finished third in the Heisman voting, in 1996, and played 10 NFL seasons.
"He's almost like a Jake Plummer," the scout said. "Similar in size. He's not fast, but quick and has a lot of agility and makes plays."
Plummer was drafted in the second round and started for the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate twice.