Myles Brennan's story is another brutal reminder of how unlucky this sport can be
Myles Brennan tried to do it the old-fashioned way.
Stick with the program even when a new coaching staff comes in and the one who recruited you is gone. Stick with the program when they recruit a grad transfer over you because you need to gain weight and show you’re more durable. Stick with the program and say all the politically correct things when the grad transfer who was recruited over you becomes a college football legend. Stick with the program when you suffer a season-ending injury in the first month after finally showing that you can play at a high level in Year 4. Stick with the program even after a freshman steps in and closes the season well enough to earn a slight advantage to win the 2021 job heading into the offseason.
And yet, Brennan doing it the old-fashioned way led to him suffering a broken arm ahead of Year 5 at LSU. There will be no fall quarterback battle between Brennan and Max Johnson. That job belongs to the latter.
Brennan’s injury is another brutal reminder of just how unlucky the sport can be.
He’s hardly the first or last veteran quarterback to watch his opportunity fade as a result of an injury. But regardless of how you felt about Brennan’s chances to win the 2021 starting job, think about the nature of his situation.
Where Brennan is in a class of his own is with the injury he had in 2020.
The guy had the muscle pulled off the pelvic bone and hip as a Missouri defender drove him to the ground. The abdominal injury — which Brennan played through and nearly won a shootout — was so rare that LSU had to bring in opinions from NHL and NBA experts to get a proper diagnosis. Brennan’s dad said that the surgery made “medical history.” Brennan was told by the doctor that he had never performed the surgery needed to repair the muscles and ligaments that he tore, and that if he wanted the procedure done, they could name it after the LSU quarterback.
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Instead, though, Brennan opted to let it heal on its own. So he stuck with that slow process, and then showed up without any limitations for spring workouts.
If you saw Brennan at LSU’s spring game, you saw someone who was all sorts of fired up to be back on the field again:
— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) April 17, 2021
Again, that was a spring game.
Now, though, it’s the left arm that’ll require surgery and Brennan’s 2021 season is in serious doubt. Whatever window that remained open to beat out Johnson for the starting job is gone. If Brennan does have another chapter to his college career, it’s hard to imagine it’ll be at LSU.
And hey, for all we know, Brennan’s Year 5 would’ve been spent elsewhere had he not gotten injured. There’s a way in which his LSU story would’ve had an awkward ending of losing the starting gig and seeking a new home. That would’ve gone against Brennan’s entire LSU story, but it would’ve at least been understandable for someone in Year 5. Maybe he would’ve gone back to his home state of Mississippi and played for Mike Leach or Lane Kiffin. Or maybe he would’ve left the region and found a new Power 5 home.
That could still happen, just likely not until after the 2021 season plays out. If he does ultimately hit the transfer portal, Brennan will have value, and not just NIL value (he has NIL deals with Raising Cane’s and a local car dealership in Baton Rouge).
If you disagree with that, you ‘re probably letting LSU’s 1-2 start cover up the fact that Brennan threw for 1,112 yards and 11 touchdown passes in those 3 games. Sure, he took too many sacks against MSU. He also didn’t play on the LSU defense that allowed an average of 614 yards in those 2 losses.
Whatever the case, Brennan’s story was (and is) easy to root for. He did everything the coaching staff asked of him. Whether it was learning new offenses or gaining nearly 50 pounds — by eating 6-7 meals a day — from the time he arrived at LSU to the time he got his first start in 2020, he never lacked the right mindset. Google “Myles Brennan weight gain” and you’ll get dozens of results. He talked about eating to the point where he was basically “about to throw up.”
Brennan is the same kid who lived on a boat for 3 years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the family’s home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
No matter what Brennan’s next chapter is, he deserves to have people in his corner. It might not have a fairytale ending at all. Good stories don’t always produce those. Not in real life, big-time college football.
Assuming there’s no fairytale ending in Baton Rouge, it’ll always be a bummer that we didn’t get a full season of Brennan at LSU. The potential was there, and when you know the story, you couldn’t help but want to see that on display.
Life rolls along, though. A new quarterback (Johnson) is now in position to write his own story. It’s on to the next one at LSU.
Just maybe take a minute to stop and appreciate the last one.