Colton Brennan (right) with coach Jim Zorn in 2008. Wikimedia/Courtesy
Colton Brennan transferred from the University of Colorado to Saddleback College in 2004, where he led the Gauchos to a conference championship. He received honorable mention at the Junior College All-American in football for his performance as a quarterback that first season.
Brennan had been let go from his team in Colorado after an accusation of sexual misconduct. The incident was the first of several brushes with the law. Brennan suffered bouts of alcoholism that landed him in trouble on subsequent occasions.
The star quarterback had repaired his reputation to begin a career with the University of Hawaii under the guidance of head coach June Jones. He led the country in a total of 4.455 offense yards and 35 touchdowns thrown. His 4,301 yards passing is the eighth-most in Western Athletic Conference history with the Rainbow Warriors.
Among the many awards that Brennan received in the 2006-2007 season were: two times First-team All-WAC, two times WAC Offensive Player of the Year, Third-team AP All-American, O’Brien and Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist. In 2007, he was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Brennan was drafted by the then Washington Redskins in the sixth round 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, who had public struggles with alcohol, died at a hospital in California, his father, Terry Brennan, told The Associated Press.
“He just spent one too many times on the dark side of life, and it caught up with him,” Terry Brennan said of his son.