- The Washington Times - Friday, July 25, 2008

There is plenty of standing and waiting, lots of watching and learning.

Less than a year removed from being a college football rock star, Colt Brennan is now just another rookie fighting for a job in the NFL.

Gone are the wacky hairstyles and the endless interview requests. The days of being a cover boy for national magazines and a symbol of hope for the little guys in college football are no more.

Brennan has swapped his signature all-black duds at Hawaii, complete with matching helmet visor, for the simple burgundy-and-gold practice uniform and logo-less headgear of a first-year member of the Washington Redskins.

There are no braids, no facsimiles of the state of Hawaii in his hair anymore either.

“This [current look] is usually how I am. I’m not really a loud kind of guy in a sense,” Brennan said. “I was kind of put on a pedestal out there in Hawaii, and I wanted to show everyone that I could have fun with it and embarrass myself. Right now I am just trying to get a job and play the game.”

Brennan lit up college football for three seasons with numbers that would be unthinkable even in a video game. He tossed 58 touchdown passes - in his junior season alone. That was just one of 31 NCAA records he now owns.

After that junior season, some draft pundits pegged him as a first- or second-round prospect. He returned to Hawaii for his senior year, and all he did was lead the Warriors to a perfect regular season and a spot in a BCS bowl game.

It was a fairy tale, a story of redemption for a talented kid from Southern California who nearly ruined his life one intoxicated night in Colorado. Playing against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl could have been a coronation for Brennan’s college career.

Instead, the Warriors were hammered, and Brennan had the worst game of his career. The doubters, those who said Brennan’s spectacular production existed only because he played in coach June Jones’ wild system, began to poke holes in his draft stock.

Then he struggled at the Senior Bowl. It didn’t help that Brennan tore the labrum in his hip the first day or practice and continued to play through it. Individual workouts didn’t go much better, and his chances to be drafted in the first or second rounds disappeared. He finally had surgery on his hip after his pro day at Hawaii, but the damage had been done.

The guy who was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist watched as 185 names were called before Brennan, including those of nine quarterbacks.

“I think I definitely got a bad deal. I think a lot of people jumped [off] the bandwagon on me,” Brennan said. “It is amazing how people will allow one game to take down or discredit everything you’d done.”

Still, draft weekend pales in comparison to the depths his life had reached a few years before. Brennan was charged with a variety of crimes after a night in a Boulder, Colo., dorm room in 2004. He was acquitted of the most severe charges but convicted of first-degree criminal trespassing and second-degree burglary and was sentenced to seven days in jail along with four years of probation.

Shortly after the incident he was kicked out of Colorado and spent a year at a junior college close to home before Jones offered him a second chance and helped make him a star.

Story Continues →