Over the years, plenty of college football quarterbacks have risen to the top of their game only to become afterthoughts in the NFL. Perhaps nobody knows that better than Colt Brennan.
The former Hawaii star became a household name for his sensational college career from 2005-2007. To this day, Brennan find himself amongst the sport’s elite players in various record books.
However, the California native didn’t last long in the pros. After being taken in the sixth round of the of the 2008 NFL Draft, the former Hawaii star flamed out of the league due to injuries sustained from his time in football and suffered in a serious car crash in 2010. After a few more stints in the United Football League, Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League, Brennan decided to step away from the game.
Since his effective retirement from football in 2014, Brennan’s life has been anything but smooth. Let’s take a look at where the former college star is now, as well take a glimpse back as his playing days.
What is Colt Brennan up to now?
Brennan’s last stint in football came in 2014 with the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena Football League. After signing with the team just a few months prior, medical staff was unable to clear him to play due to a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in a 2010 car accident.
Brennan spoke about the accident, in which he was a passenger, in an episode on a docu-series titled “4th and Loud” about the Kiss’ 2014 season:
“All I know is I woke up, six, seven days later. I badly broke my collarbone, and on the X-rays it was just like crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack all the way down my left side. I woke up 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.”
Unfortunately, since his departure from the Kiss, Brennan has found himself in fairly regular legal trouble. Mostly recently, the 37-year-old was arrested in August of 2020 for causing a disturbance at a Honolulu-area hotel and was charged with second-degree trespassing, per Hawaii News Now. The criminal complaint said that Brennan “intentionally, knowing, or recklessly entered or remained unlawfully” at the hotel.
The August arrest is just the latest in a string for the former college football star. In December of 2019, Brennan was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser. A few years prior, in 2012, the California native had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and reportedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.17 percent. Despite entering a not guilty plea the following winter, Brennan plead guilty in July of 2013.
Brennan’s Instagram account does show that he’s still connected to family. It appears that the 37-year-old former quarterback lives in Hawaii where he played his college ball.
Hawaii and College Football Success
Brennan grew up in Southern California and attended Mater Dei, a noted high school football powerhouse. He played behind future USC star and NFL quarterback Matt Leinart in high school before taking a postgraduate year at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts. His next stop was the college level, as a walk-on player at Colorado.
Brennan didn’t last long with the Buffaloes. The California native was kicked off the team and spent seven days in jail for breaking into and entering a women’s dorm room in Boulder. Brennan then left the school entirely.
He went on to play a year at Saddleback College before finally getting his breakthrough opportunity at Hawaii. June Jones, the head coach of the Warriors at the time, gave the young quarterback another shot, despite his past troubles.
Not even Jones could’ve foreseen what would happen next.
Brennan quickly assumed the starting job for the Warriors during the 2005 season. He started in just 10 of the team’s 12 games, but quickly etched his name into the school’s record books. He completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,301 yards, 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He broke 11 records at Hawaii in his first year with the program.
He returned in 2006 as the clear starter for the Warriors and put together another historic season. Brennan led the nation in passer efficiency rating (182.2) and completion percentage (72.15 percent), in addition to throwing for new school records of 5,549 yards and 58 touchdowns. Despite finishing sixth in Heisman Trophy voting, he chose to return to Hawaii for his senior season in 2007.
During his final year with Hawaii, Brennan took a slightly step back statistically. Even still, he led the Warriors to an undefeated, 12-0 regular season and a third-place finish in Heisman voting. Although he powered the team through the campaign, he met his match against Georgia in the 2008 Sugar Bowl, ending his college days on a sour note with a 41-10 loss.
Brennan finished his college career with 14,193 passing yards and was responsible for 146 touchdowns, ranking second all-time at the NCAA level.
Washington drafted Brennan in the sixth round, with the 186th overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. Immediately, he picked up where he left off at Hawaii, dicing up opposing defenses during the preseason. Brennan led all rookies in touchdown passes and passing yards through the exhibition games.
Unfortunately, Brennan’s first season in the NFL came to an abrupt halt. Washington placed him on injured reserve with a torn hamstring and hip injury which required season-ending surgery. Brennan was never quite the same and the organization released him prior to the start of the 2010 season.
The young quarterback landed another opportunity just a few days later with the Raiders. The team released him less than a month later. It would be Colt Brennan’s last stint in the NFL.
Brennan went on to play for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League before the league suspended operations in August of 2011. He then spent four months with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in 2012.
Since his playing days came to a close, Colt Brennan’s life obviously hasn’t gone according to plan. With a list of legal troubles, it won’t be the easiest path for the 37-year-old to bounce back.
But, it’s possible that Brennan is content to try and figure out life away from the limelight. In the aforementioned 2014 docu-series, the former Hawaii star spoke about his future as the door closed on his football career.
“Football doesn’t define who you are,” Brennan said, via The Washington Post. “I’ve got everything in the world I’d ever want. I know I’m happy, I’ve just got to figure out how to bounce back from this brain injury. … My grandfather gave me a book about Vince Lombardi quotes. This thing just stood out so much, and it was, it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up. That quote resonated with me so much and I’ve watched it basically become my life. So, I’m just trying to get back up again.”
Hopefully, Brennan is able to get back up and land back on his feet soon.