Colt Brennan
refer to caption
Brennan (right) with coach Jim Zorn in 2008
No. 5
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born:(1983-08-16)August 16, 1983
Laguna Beach, California
Died:May 11, 2021(2021-05-11) (aged 37)
Newport Beach, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Mater Dei
(Santa Ana, California)
College:Hawaii
NFL Draft:2008 / Round: 6 / Pick: 186
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR · CFL.ca (archive)

Colton James Brennan (August 16, 1983 – May 11, 2021) was an American football quarterback. He played college football for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, where he was a two-time, third-team All-American before being selected by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

With Hawaii in 2006, Brennan threw the second-most passing touchdowns in one season in NCAA Division I history with 58.[1][2] He holds several other NCAA Division I FBS records.

Early years

Brennan attended Mater Dei High School in California. He helped Mater Dei advance to the league championship in basketball as a senior. While at Mater Dei, he was the backup quarterback to Matt Leinart until Leinart graduated.[3] After graduating from Mater Dei, Brennan attended Worcester Academy in Massachusetts for a postgraduate year, where his primary receiver was David Ball, who later would break Jerry Rice's college record for touchdown receptions in Division I-AA.[4]

College career

University of Colorado

Brennan originally attended the University of Colorado in 2002 as a walk-on. He spent the year as a redshirt.[3]

On January 28, 2004, Brennan entered the dorm room of a female CU student, uninvited, and, according to the victim, "exposed himself and fondled her,"[5] a charge which Brennan denied.[6] Brennan, who was intoxicated at the time of the incident, was arrested and eventually convicted of charges of felony burglary and trespassing[7] (serving one week in jail along with probation until he graduated from college), but a guilty verdict for unlawful sexual contact was vacated by the court for lack of evidence.[3] Brennan was court ordered to take a polygraph test about the incident and passed. He later showed those results to Saddleback College President Richard McCullough.[4] After the incident, which occurred during a period of time when CU was experiencing accusations of sex crimes and wild recruiting parties involving several athletes, he was kicked off the team.[8]

Saddleback College

Brennan then transferred to Saddleback College in California in 2004 and helped lead the school to a conference championship. He was named honorable mention JUCO All-America, state offensive player of the year by the JuCal Transfer, and first-team all-conference for his performance in that season. He repaired his image well enough for the University of Hawaii head coach June Jones to offer him a walk-on opportunity. Looking to put some distance between himself and his past problems and interested in Jones' quarterback knowledge, Brennan accepted the offer and turned down an offer from San Jose State.[3]

University of Hawaii

2005

Brennan joined Hawaii in 2005 and quickly earned the starting quarterback job. He started 10 of 12 games, the only games he did not start being against USC and San Diego State. He either tied or broke 11 school offensive records in what was a successful first season with the Rainbow Warriors. He led the country in total offense yards (4,455) and touchdowns thrown (35). His 4,301 yards passing is the eighth-most in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) history. Against New Mexico State, he recorded career-high numbers in passing yards (515), touchdowns (7), and pass completions (38). He also had nine 300+ yard performances on the season, including four 400+ yard games and a 515-yard performance.[9]

2006

Brennan entered 2006 as the undisputed starter at quarterback, was named to multiple award watch lists and was voted the WAC's preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He led the nation in scoring and passing efficiency, finishing the regular season with a 182.8 rating, and completed 72.15% of his passes, the best in Division I-A.[10]

During the regular season, Brennan passed for 53 touchdowns, falling 1 touchdown pass short of the NCAA Division I-A single-season record (set in 1990 by David Klingler of Houston). On December 24, 2006, at the Hawaii Bowl, Brennan threw for five touchdowns to break the record. (Statistics accumulated during the postseason now count towards records.)[11] The team finished the season with an 11–3 record, finishing second in the WAC behind Boise State.[4]

Brennan finished 6th in the voting for the 2006 Heisman Trophy, behind Troy Smith, Darren McFadden, Brady Quinn, Steve Slaton, and Mike Hart.[12] During the season, Brennan passed for 5,549 yards and 58 touchdowns, both of which are school records, and had the highest passer efficiency rating in the nation. According to Jones, "Colt is a money guy. Colt is what I said he is: the best college quarterback in America, and he proved it tonight."[13] During a press conference on January 17, Brennan announced that he was returning to the University of Hawaii for his senior season.[14] He didn't feel he was fully prepared for the NFL and needed another year to get ready. He returned to Hawaii as a Heisman front runner and one of the NCAA's most prolific passers.[15] Rivals.com named him one of the top-10 quarterbacks going into the 2007 season.[16]

2007

On November 23, 2007, he broke the major college career record for touchdown passes, throwing five touchdown passes against then No. 17 Boise State. He threw the record-breaking 122nd in the first quarter, a six-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen to surpass the mark set by former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer in 1991. With the pass, Brennan also broke Detmer's record for the player responsible for the most touchdowns with 136.[17] Hawaii beat Washington 35–28 in the final game of the regular season to finish with a 12–0 record,[18] finishing the 2007 season ranked No. 10 on the AP Top 25, earning a bid to 2007 BCS Sugar Bowl against the No. 5 ranked Georgia Bulldogs.[19]

The Sugar Bowl turned out to be a one-sided affair, as Georgia defeated Hawaiʻi 41–10. Brennan completed 22-of-38 for 169 yards, while throwing three interceptions. Throughout the game, Georgia was able to effectively apply pressure rushing only three defensive linemen, allowing Georgia to drop eight men into coverage.[19] This game cost Brennan the all-time passer efficiency rating that he held prior to the game. He was later quoted as saying, "This is not how I wanted my career to end."[20] He finished the season with 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.[21] Brennan was selected for the second year in a row as a Heisman trophy finalist, this time finishing in third place behind Tim Tebow and Darren McFadden.[22] At the end of the season, he was invited to participate in the 2008 Senior Bowl, where he suffered a torn labrum in his right hip during the first day of practice. He still managed to play in the game.[23]

June Jones

June Jones, Brennan's coach at Hawaii, had a large impact upon his career and helped him become one of the most prolific passers in NCAA Division 1 history. In a short January 6, 2008 interview Brennan said of Jones: "He's obviously done a lot for me because he gave me a chance and that's really what I was looking for... He really gave me the confidence to take my game to the next level and give me the confidence to play like an All-American." Jones was instrumental in bringing Brennan to Hawaii during his sophomore year.[24]

Awards and honors

Records

College statistics

Season Team Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2004 Saddleback 177 259 68.0 2,532 9.8 23 4 176.7 66 57 0.9 1
2005 Hawaii 350 515 68.0 4,301 8.4 35 13 155.5 99 154 1.6 2
2006 Hawaii 406 559 72.6 5,549 9.9 58 12 186.0 86 366 4.3 5
2007 Hawaii 359 510 70.4 4,343 8.5 38 17 159.8 82 27 0.3 8
NCAA Career[32] 1,115 1,584 70.4 14,193 9.0 131 42 167.6 267 547 2.0 15

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight
6 ft 2+38 in
(1.89 m)
207 lb
(94 kg)
All values from NFL Combine[33]

Washington Redskins

Brennan was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round (186th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. He was the 10th quarterback selected in the draft. On July 14, he signed a four-year, $1.8 million contract.

Brennan appeared in his first NFL preseason game in the 2008 Hall of Fame Game, against the Indianapolis Colts on August 3. He was impressive in his debut, completing 9-of-10 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns for a 157.5 passer rating in the Redskins' victory.[34] Brennan's success continued two weeks later against the New York Jets when he completed 4-of-5 passes for 79 yards and threw the game-winning touchdown on a 33-yard pass to wide receiver Jason Goode.[35] He led all 2008 NFL rookies through the preseason in touchdown passes (three), passing yards (411), and quarterback rating (109.9).[36] He went 36-for-53 with no interceptions for a completion percentage of 67.9%. He also carried the ball twice for 11 yards. He saw no game time in the regular season.

Brennan was placed on injured reserve on September 4, 2009, thus ending his 2009 season, due to a torn hamstring and a hip injury. The hip injury was similar to one he suffered while in college at Hawaii and required surgery.[37] On August 2, 2010, the Redskins traded for Baltimore Ravens quarterback John Beck, thus making Brennan expendable. He was subsequently released.[38]

Oakland Raiders

On August 7, 2010, Brennan signed with the Oakland Raiders. He was cut on September 4, never having played a regular season game in the NFL.[39]

Hartford Colonials

On June 3, 2011, Brennan signed with the Hartford Colonials in the United Football League for the 2011 season.[40] The league suspended operations of the Colonials on August 10, 2011.[41] Brennan was not selected by any of the four remaining UFL teams in a dispersal draft held on August 15, 2011.[42]

Saskatchewan Roughriders

On February 28, 2012, Brennan signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.[43] The announcement was widely reported online and attracted widespread attention in its aftermath.[44] Although he was expected to be the backup, the Roughriders later signed former NFL journeyman J. T. O'Sullivan, pushing Brennan down in the depth chart.[45] Brennan was released on June 11, 2012.[46]

Los Angeles Kiss

On October 29, 2013, Brennan was assigned to the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena Football League.[47] However, he was cut by the Kiss on March 8, 2014 after being diagnosed with a brain injury resulting from a 2010 car crash (see below).[48] Brennan's experience with the Kiss became the focus of the first episode of 4th and Loud, a reality television series about the team.[49]

Personal life

Brennan was a communications major.[50] On December 16, 2007, Brennan received his Bachelor of Arts in communications and a 27-second standing ovation.[51] Hawaii-based venture capitalist Barry Weinman wore Brennan's No. 15 jersey while delivering the commencement address at the 2007 graduation.[52]

His cousin Brent Brennan is a college football coach who has been the head coach at San Jose State since 2017.[53][54]

On November 19, 2010, Brennan was hospitalized and listed in serious condition after he was a passenger in a car crash in the Big Island of Hawai'i.[55] The accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, broken ribs and collar bone, which according to his family affected him emotionally in the following years.[56][57] He was released from Queen's Medical Center on November 27, 2010 and headed to his parents' home in Southern California to continue his recovery.[58] He described his injuries in 2014:[49]

All I know is I woke up, six, seven days later, [...] and I was—and I still am—a different person. I suffered minor TBI—traumatic brain injury. I just have a small scar, you know, on my brain, but it's in an area that makes you impulsive and emotional. I've had to learn how to control that.

Legal issues

Brennan was arrested on July 25, 2012, in Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii, on suspicion of driving under the influence and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.[59] His blood-alcohol level was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving a vehicle.[60] He was released the next day without charges.[59] In August 2012, Brennan was charged with drunken driving, but he was not charged for cocaine residue found in a plastic packet in the car.[61] Despite entering a not guilty plea in November 2012,[62] Brennan pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol on July 31, 2013, and he paid a $300 fine.[63]

In 2015, Brennan allegedly filed a false police report that his vehicle was stolen, something his attorney blamed on memory problems stemming from his 2010 car crash injuries. Charges were later dropped.[64]

On December 10, 2019, Brennan was arrested once again for operating a vehicle under the influence in Kaneohe.[64]

On August 1, 2020, Brennan was arrested for trespassing and refusing to leave a hotel in Kailua-Kona while "heavily intoxicated". He was charged with second-degree trespassing; bail was set at $250, but he remained in jail until his hearing several days later. The judge granted his lawyer's request for court-supervised release without bail until his next scheduled court appearance later that month.[65]

Death

On May 10, 2021, Brennan was found unconscious at a hotel room after ingesting fentanyl. He was hospitalized in Newport Beach, California, and died the following day, at age 37. With his father's assistance, Brennan had attempted to enter a detox center at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach hours before ingesting fentanyl, but the hospital eventually turned him away because there were no open beds available, and the hospital had failed to contact Brennan's father despite promising to call him back.[57][66]

In the immediate aftermath of his death, many released statements mourning his death. Hawaii governor David Ige said of Brennan: “He will always be remembered for his brilliance, his leadership and how he and his team brought the people of Hawaii together during that exciting and memorable 2007 season.”[67]

On February 25, 2022, a further investigation revealed that Brennan had Stage 1 CTE. In addition, there were multiple substances in his system which featured ethanol, methamphetamines, amphetamines, and fentanyl in the autopsy report.

See also

References

  1. ^ Song, Jaymes (December 24, 2006). "Brennan Breaks NCAA Season TD Pass Mark". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved October 13, 2013. Hawaii's Colt Brennan broke the NCAA single-season record for touchdown passes Sunday, throwing three in the third quarter and two in the fourth in the Hawaii Bowl to push his total to 58.
  2. ^ "2013 Football Bowl Subdivision Records" (PDF). NCAA. p. 5. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Dufresne, Chris (August 25, 2007). "End of the rainbow". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Thamel, Pete (August 26, 2007). "After Brush With Law, Hawaii's Brennan Seeks Redemption". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  5. ^ Schlabach, Mark (December 21, 2006). "Second chance leaves Brennan on verge of history". ESPN. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  6. ^ Tsai, Stephen (November 25, 2006). "QB with a past and presence". The Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2008.
  7. ^ Song, Jaymes (November 2, 2006). "QB Brennan on a roll in his second season at UH". The Honolulu Advertiser. Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2008.
  8. ^ Reardon, Dave (June 26, 2005). "Brennan gets back up". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  9. ^ "Hawaii 49, New Mexico State 28". ESPN. Associated Press. October 16, 2005. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  10. ^ Koons, Zach (March 24, 2021). "Colt Brennan: What Is The Former Hawaii Star QB Up To Now". The Spun. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  11. ^ Song, Jaymes (December 24, 2006). "Brennan Breaks NCAA Season TD Pass Mark". The Washington Post. The Associated Press. Retrieved March 30, 2013. Hawaii's Colt Brennan broke the NCAA single-season record for touchdown passes Sunday, throwing three in the third quarter and two in the fourth in the Hawaii Bowl to push his total to 58.
  12. ^ "Smith strikes pose with record Heisman win". MSNBC. Associated Press. December 10, 2006. Archived from the original on December 12, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  13. ^ "Brennan eyeing return to Hawaii, but NFL not ruled out". ESPN. Associated Press. December 25, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  14. ^ Tsai, Stephen (January 18, 2007). "Hawaii QB Colt Brennan will return for senior season". USA Today. Retrieved January 18, 2007.
  15. ^ "Another year would only help Brennan". The Honolulu Advertiser. December 24, 2006. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  16. ^ Rivals.com's QB Power Rankings, CNNSI.com, April 2, 2007.
  17. ^ "Brennan breaks NCAA career mark for TD passes". November 24, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2007.
  18. ^ "Hawaii rallies from 21 down to save perfect season". Retrieved December 3, 2007.
  19. ^ a b Thamel, Pete (January 2, 2008). "Georgia Runs Over Hawaii in Sugar Bowl, 41-10". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  20. ^ "Hawai'i vs. Georgia - Game Recap - January 1, 2008 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  21. ^ Himmelsback, Adam (August 27, 2011). "Lessons About Not Leaving". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012.
  22. ^ Sinco Kelleher, Jennifer (May 11, 2021). "Colt Brennan—former CU Buffs, Hawaii and NFL quarterback—dead at age 37". The Denver Post. Associated Press. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  23. ^ "Brennan out at least two months". Sports Illustrated. April 1, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  24. ^ "Colt Brennan talks about Coach Jones' impact". Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "Hawaii Rainbow Warrior Football 2019 Media Guide". pp. 181–185. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Stepien, Garrett (May 11, 2020). "Colt Brennan dead: Football world remembers legendary Hawaii QB after tragic news surfaces". 247Sports.com. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  27. ^ "Hawaii's Best QBs". ESPNHonolulu.com. December 6, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  28. ^ "Brennan sets passing TD mark to claim Hawaii's first outright WAC title". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 24, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  29. ^ a b Reardon, Dave (December 31, 2006). "Team stacks up to '81, '92 editions". Star-Bulletin. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  30. ^ Bennett, Brian (January 5, 2012). "Wilson, Persa finish with NCAA records". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  31. ^ Reardon, Dave (January 2, 2008). "Dawgs harassed Colt all night". Star-Bulletin. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  32. ^ "Colt Brennan". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  33. ^ "Colt Brennan, Hawaii, QB, 2008 NFL Draft Scout". draftscout.com. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  34. ^ "Colts vs. Redskins - Game Recap - August 3, 2008 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  35. ^ "Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets". ESPN. August 16, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  36. ^ "NFL Stats: by Player Category". Nfl.com. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  37. ^ "Redskins Place Colt Brennan on IR". fanhouse.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  38. ^ "Redskins cut QB Colt Brennan". ESPN. Associated Press. August 2, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  39. ^ "Colt Brennan cut by Raiders". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. September 4, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  40. ^ "Colt Brennan Signs with the Colonials" (Press release). UFL Press. June 3, 2011. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011. Quarterback Colt Brennan signed a contract with the Hartford Colonials for the 2011 United Football League season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  41. ^ "Omaha And Sacramento To Host Opening Games Of Four-Team 2011 United Football League Season In September" (Press release). UFL Press. August 10, 2011. Archived from the original on September 12, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011. The UFL has suspended operations in Hartford, Connecticut, where the Hartford Colonials played the 2010 season at the city's Rentschler Field stadium. Colonials players will join the other four UFL teams through an allocation draft to be held on Monday, August 15
  42. ^ "Regional Digest: Andre Dixon Signs With Sacramento". Hartford Courant. Tribune Company. August 16, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011. Dixon was not among the 24 players selected Monday by the four remaining teams in the UFL dispersal draft. ... Among other players not selected [were] ... former NFL quarterback Colt Brennan.
  43. ^ "Riders sign QBs Brennan and Willy". CFL.ca. Canadian Football League. The Canadian Press. February 28, 2012. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  44. ^ Vanstone, Rob (March 2, 2012). "Roughriders' Brennan the talk of Saskatchewan". National Post. Retrieved May 10, 2012.[dead link]
  45. ^ Bach, Chris (April 26, 2012). "J.T. O'Sullivan Signed To Push Colt Brennan For Roughriders Back-Up Job". NFL Gridiron Gab. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  46. ^ McCormick, Murray (June 11, 2012). "Riders release Colt Brennan". Regina Leader-Post. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  47. ^ "Looks like KISS moving on from Tebow". Foxsports.com. Fox Entertainment Group. October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  48. ^ Montero, David (March 10, 2014). "LA Kiss ownership unveils uniforms, helmets". The Orange County Register. Santa Ana, California. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  49. ^ a b Allen, Scott (August 13, 2014). "Former Redskins fan favorite Colt Brennan appears in premiere of AMC's "4th and Loud"". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  50. ^ "University of Hawaii at Manoa, Journalism Program". Archived from the original on November 20, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
  51. ^ Tsai, Stephen (December 17, 2007). "Hawaii quarterback graduates from college". The Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  52. ^ "Brennan Joins 1,200 Others In Graduation Ceremony". KITV. December 17, 2007. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  53. ^ "Hawaii Bowl: For Oregon State receivers coach Brent Brennan, it's a return to the beginning". The Oregonian. December 23, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  54. ^ "Brent Brennan named San Jose State University head football coach". SJSU Athletics - Official Athletics Website. San Jose State Athletics. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  55. ^ "Colt Brennan reportedly suffers head injury in Big Island crash". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
  56. ^ "Colt Brennan in serious condition following head-on collision". Hawaii News Now. November 19, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  57. ^ a b "Ex-Hawai'i record-setting QB Colt Brennan dead at 37". ESPN. May 11, 2021. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  58. ^ "Former QB Brennan is out of the hospital". The Washington Post. November 28, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  59. ^ a b Kakesako, Gregg K.; Lewis, Ferd (July 26, 2012). "Colt Brennan released after his arrest for drugs, DUI". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  60. ^ "Colt Brennan's blood-alcohol reading was twice the legal limit". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  61. ^ Bernardo, Rosemarie (August 31, 2012). "Colt Brennan formally charged with drunken driving". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  62. ^ Vorsino, Mary (November 13, 2012). "Brennan pleads not guilty to drunk-driving charge". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  63. ^ Jennifer Sinco Kelleher (July 31, 2013). "Colt Brennan pleads guilty to DUI, fined $300". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  64. ^ a b Fujimori, Leila (December 11, 2019). "Former University of Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan arrested on suspicion of DUI". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  65. ^ Chinen, Kyle (August 4, 2020). "Former UH quarterback Colt Brennan arrested in Kona for trespassing while 'heavily intoxicated'". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  66. ^ Sneed, Brandon (November 1, 2021). "They Did Everything, But Nothing Could Ever Save Him". Sports Illustrated.
  67. ^ Hawaii football legend Colt Brennan, who led an unforgettable era for UH, dies at 37