Celebrated Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was not named the winner of this year’s Heisman Trophy, “the most prestigious award in college football.” The Heisman went to Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Even so, Brennan had a lot to be proud of.
The news was announced moments ago at the 73rd Heisman Trophy award ceremony in Times Square, which was broadcast live on ESPN. Brennan has said all along that he was thrilled to have made the shortlist, and to fly to New York. “I’m really excited to be a part of it,” he said yesterday after touring the Big Apple. “I’m just grateful to be here.”
Brennan was one of four finalists named for this year’s award, along with Tebow, Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. McFadden was the runner-up last year.
Tebow was considered the favorite leading up to tonight’s presentation, and was poised to make history as the first underclassman to win the Heisman.
UH football coach June Jones made waves earlier this week when he dismissed Tebow as a “system quarterback.” His comments caught the attention of college ball fans across the country… which was probably the point. Tebow and the Florida Gators are hosting Hawaii for the Warriors’ first game of the 2008-’09 season.
Brennan seemed at ease during the award presentation, shown early on playing video games backstage with his fellow nominees. All four men were dressed up for the evening, but Brennan stood out with a ti leaf lei draped over his shoulders. During the interview segment, he gave a lei to Daniel before talking a bit about how his life changed for the better after he left legal troubles in Colorado for a second chance in the Aloha State.
“When I went out to Hawaii, it was a fresh start,” Brennan said. “All they cared about is who you are as a person. It was so refrefreshing, it just gave me a ton of confidence to go out there and show who I really am.”
The secret to his incredible record?
“Experience. That’s one thing about my life, I’ve kind of experienced it all. I’ve been everywhere, from Boston all the way to Hawaii. I’ve been down, I’ve lost football games before, and I know what it’s like to lose. Once you’ve experienced that, you know how to bounce back from that. And that’s exactly what we did.”
Many people thought Brennan was going to be named a Heisman finalist last year, but that didn’t happen. He had a great senior year, leading the Warriors to a 12-0 season to cinch the WAC championship, but his stats were down after missing some games due to injury.
Despite missing two games, however, the ESPN commentators noted that Brennan racked up over 4,000 yards and 38 touchdowns, giving the Warriors three 4th quarter comeback wins. He has thrown more touchdown passes in his college career than anybody, and he has yet to play in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in New Orleans.
As one ESPN commentator noted tonight, Brennan had briefly explored entering the NFL draft but decided to stay at UH for his senior year. Today, obviously, his prospects in professional football are better than ever. Go, Colt!