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Sports: Surf Lassoes Colt


If Colt Brennan improves upon last year’s record-breaking performance, he might just be striking a Heisman pose. photo: courtesy of UH Media Relations
University of Hawai‘i football fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when star quarterback Colt Brennan decided to return to school rather than test the waters of the NFL draft. The gunslinger set the NCAA single-season record for touchdown passes (58) and led the Warriors into the national rankings. After all the accolades—he tied or broke 19 NCAA and 26 school records last year—why wouldn’t the Irvine, Calif., native turn pro?

“Mostly, I was really enjoying my experience here in Hawai‘i,” Brennan says. “It’s about making a statement about the kind of person I am, and doing something great that’s not about material things.”

Hawai‘i head coach June Jones predicted Brennan would fetch in the neighborhood of $25 million in the NFL, and agents predicted he would probably be the third quarterback selected. But, after consulting with agents, NFL officials, coaches and his dad, Brennan decided to stick around in Manoa.

“You’ve got to take chances in life, and who’s to say that if I went to the NFL early that would be the best thing for me?” Brennan explains. “I’ve always felt that my mark in the NFL will not be measured so much by where I get drafted, but will have everything to do with what I do after I get drafted.”

When he’s not tossing around the pigskin, Brennan does his best to live the life of a typical college kid in Hawai‘i. He enjoys playing golf and basketball, and loves to bodysurf in the pounding waves of Makapu‘u or Sandy’s.

One would think Brennan shouldn’t risk any injury that could derail his football career, but he doesn’t agree.

“Maybe I get slammed at Sandy’s here or there, or bump my shoulder, but in two weeks I’m fine and got some good practice for the season coming up,” Brennan says. “Everyone’s always on me, but what do you want me to do, just sit in my house in a big bubble?”

Brennan’s a humble guy who appreciates those who cheer on the team and make his job worth doing.

If you happen to run into Brennan and want to take a picture with him, by all means, feel free to ask. But come prepared; he can’t stand it when fans try to take pictures with cell phones and fail to operate them correct dly.

“Picture phones, I hate those. [Fans] sit there and never get a good shot,” he says. “They drive me nuts!”

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Honolulu Magazine May 2019
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