POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 14, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 3:54 p.m. HST, Jun 14, 2011
The smile is back for the most famous former Hawaii quarterback.
"It's new," said Colt Brennan, who underwent $20,000 in dental surgery to repair damages to his mouth suffered in a two-vehicle crash in November. The Big Island accident, in which he was a passenger, left Brennan unconscious with injuries to his head, neck, collarbone and ribs.
"If I shaved my head, I've got some pretty gnarly scars," said Brennan, as his smile disappears.
"The truth is, there's a lady still going through rehab right now," Brennan said of Dr. Theresa Wang, who was driving a car that was struck by an SUV driven by Brennan's ex-girlfriend. "It's weird for me to talk about football."
Brennan had a stopover in Honolulu on Monday en route to American Samoa for a mission trip to distribute medical supplies. The June Jones Foundation is donating the supplies; the organization also donated $20,000 to the American Red Cross on behalf of the Japan relief fund.
Last month, the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League secured the rights to Brennan. Last week, Brennan signed a contract with the Colonials, whose head coach is Jerry Glanville, a former UH defensive coordinator. Brennan said he has been training in Arizona and California.
"I haven't played a real football game in more than three years," said Brennan, who was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2008. After undergoing surgery on both knees and both hips, Brennan was cut by the Redskins last year without having appeared in a regular-season game. He lasted a little more than a month with Oakland last summer.
"The NFL is a business," Brennan said. "I wanted to play football, and coach Glanville gave me a chance. The doctor said I'm good to go. I'm making one more run for it. This is it. I'm going for it."
In 2006, the second of his three years at UH, Brennan finished with a quarterback rating of 182.8, the highest in NCAA history. With the Redskins, Brennan completed nearly 70 percent of his passes in exhibition games.
"I played five years in the league, and I couldn't do that in the parking lot," said Southern Methodist coach June Jones, who was Brennan's head coach at UH. "I'm rooting for him. The biggest thing, for him, is to take that first hit."
Brennan said: "I've got metal in me. Man, I'm like Iron Man. ‘What, you're going to break something?' I've had everything broken."
The Colonials open training camp in July. The UFL regular season is eight games.
"I'm more excited now than when I was going into the NFL (in 2008)," he said. "I want to play a real football game. These critics, these coaches, can judge you off a couple of series, a couple of times in preseason games. But you can't tell a player unless you watch him play a whole game.
"One of my big inspirations is I want to get back to the NFL, play in a game, and prove what we did in college was legit. ... It starts with (the UFL). This is my last hurrah."