Brennan no stranger to being overlooked
Colt Brennan has no idea when -- or even if -- he will be selected in the NFL Draft.
Actually, no one does, except perhaps a couple of NFL general managers who may have the Hawaii quarterback significantly higher on their war room boards than do the others.
What passes for knowledge among self-styled experts (namely anyone with a computer and the ability to repeat rumors, clue not required) has Brennan going any time tomorrow, the second day of the draft that encompasses rounds three through seven.
Or, in a deep year for quarterbacks, not at all.
If the uncertainty bothers Brennan, his tone during a phone interview yesterday didn't indicate it.
"We're preparing for the worst," a relaxed Brennan said. "Even if I don't get picked, and same with my receivers, we're still going to be in NFL uniforms this summer, with the opportunity to live out what we've been dreaming about our whole lives."
UH receivers Davone Bess, Ryan Grice-Mullins and Jason Rivers are likely draftees in the mid to late rounds tomorrow. But they are not locks to be selected either, and one, some or all may end up going the free-agent route.
Center Brennan Carvalho (Kamehameha, Portland State), linebacker Jordon Dizon (Waimea, Colorado), tight end Kolo Kapanui (Kamehameha, West Texas A&M), defensive lineman J.T. Mapu (Kahuku, Tennessee) and offensive lineman Brandon Rodd (Aiea, Arizona State), are also potential draftees with Hawaii ties.
Brennan said he's used to underdog status, so being disregarded despite breaking NCAA records, placing third in the Heisman voting and showing well at the NFL Combine doesn't bother him.
Of course he'd like the big money that goes with an early-round signing bonus (which many say he would've gotten if he'd turned pro last year). But since that's unlikely now, Brennan said he'll use it as more fuel for the fire.
"There's always parity in life. Guys get drafted early, they get a lot of money and all that, but sometimes they lose their intensity and their motivation and passion," Brennan said. "For me, I've always been that underdog and in a funny way that's comforting for me. Because I know I'll always have something to prove and always have that passion."
This weekend is just one more step in a career plagued by misperception, Brennan said.
He said the current knocks against him are lack of velocity and athleticism. Another one that's crept in is that he can't play in bad weather.
"They look at me as a kid from Southern California who played in Hawaii," Brennan said. "But in many ways I have the best resume of any quarterback. I've been all over the country, played in snow in Boston (at prep school) and Colorado, been in all kinds of offenses against all kinds of competition. The bottom line always turned out at the end that we won a lot of games and I ended the season one of the top quarterbacks."
Eight sacks, three interceptions, two fumbles and no touchdown passes in the 41-10 loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl also works against him.
With coach June Jones halfway to SMU and many players in celebration mode, the Warriors played their worst game of the year against their best opponent.
"Our goal was 12-0," Brennan said. "And I think, looking back on it, we forgot about our last game."
Unfortunately, it was the only time a lot of people saw him in action -- and it's the lasting impression.
"Peyton Manning's last college game, he got destroyed by Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, with career lows in all his stats. But he still was the No. 1 pick in the draft," Brennan said.
The difference is Manning was on national TV many previous times, playing for Tennessee.
The bottom line is Brennan isn't worried this weekend. He knows he and his receivers will get their chances. He knows he's the most accurate passer in the draft. He's got a chip on his shoulder, but he sounds chipper.
"Time will tell," Brennan said. "Five years from now, hopefully Jason, Ryan, Davone and I will all be doing our thing in the NFL and everything that we did at Hawaii will be confirmed. That's a big motivation for us."