Brennan Says Coach's Last-Minute Words Helped Him Get to New York
Says Jones "doesn't care what people think"
Dec. 6, 2007
"I think it did help me. I do," said Brennan, who was selected Wednesday as one of four Heisman finalists, joining Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel.
Brennan was scheduled to leave Honolulu late Thursday to attend Saturday night's presentation. He will be joined in New York with his girlfriend, parents, sister, grandmother, close friends and school officials.
"I'll have a nice suit and maybe a lei or something," he said.
While promoting and defending Brennan, Jones earlier this week said Brennan is not a so-called "system quarterback" like Tebow, the Heisman front-runner.
"I loved what coach Jones said," Brennan said. "If you know coach Jones, he doesn't care what people think."
Jones, a former NFL quarterback and coach, also questioned if Tebow could run Hawaii's run-and-shoot offense, saying the Gators' star is not a "natural passer," and plays in a "college system."
"I'm kind of glad he said that because now people know what it's like to be called a 'system quarterback,"' Brennan said. "You could see how that burned a lot of people."
Tebow, trying to become the first underclassman to win the Heisman Trophy, has brushed aside Jones' comments. He is the first major college player to run for 20 touchdowns and throw 20 TD passes in the same season.
He ran for 838 yards and a Southeastern Conference-record 22 touchdowns in his first year as a starter. Tebow has also completed 68 percent of his throws for 3,132 yards, with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Brennan praised Tebow's abilities, but said his coach has helped spur discussion and debate.
"Who is better? Who deserves it? All those questions get thrown out there," said Brennan, who has passed for 4,174 yards and 38 touchdowns, while rushing for eight more scores. He also set the major college record for career touchdown passes with 131.
Whether Jones' comments were actually able to garner Brennan a few votes is unknown. Tebow is still the favorite to win.
Brennan made a pitch for himself, saying he fought through injuries but got the victories in a season where every other team lost. Hawaii (12-0) is the only unbeaten team left in major college football.
"The (games) that counted the most are the ones that I showed up to and played the best," he said. "I think that's my biggest selling point at the Heisman."
When asked who he thought was the best college football player this year, Brennan paused and replied with a smile, "That's a tough one. I'm going to have to take the Fifth."
He said that he could "stir it up," but will keep his mouth shut for the sake of his backup, Tyler Graunke, who will most likely start when the Warriors open the 2008 season at Florida.