Feature on Brent Rausch

HA Note: “The University of Hawai’i football team’s No. 1 quarterback never started a Pop Warner game, played in an eight-man-to-a-side high school football league and, two years ago, quit his junior-college football team to work in construction. Nine days ago, he was third on the Warriors’ three-quarterback depth chart.”

About being named the #1 QB, Brent said:
“I was surprised. Very surprised.” (HA)

About the reaction from his friends and family in Palm Springs, Brent said:
“Everybody is happy for me. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls. People are saying, ‘Good job’ and ‘We’ll be watching you on TV.’ A couple of old girlfriends, (and) all of my aunts and uncles called me. A couple of my old friends called. One old friend I haven’t talked to in three years called: ‘Hey, man, I just saw an article on you. You’re starting.’ Yeah, dude. I played Pop Warner with him. I saw him one time in high school, and that was it.” (HA)

About growing up in Palm Springs, Brent said:
“It was cool. It’s not a bad little place. It’s a good city; good neighborhoods I grew up in. It’s not bad at all. It’s just hot. That’s the only downside to it. I tried to have fun. I was a little kid doing whatever. I rode my dirt bike, played football. I played all of the sports. I was pretty much an active kid. School wasn’t my priority back then. I kind of had to pick it up in high school. But I was a good little kid.” (HA)

About his first dirt bike, Brent said:
“I got it when I was, like, 8, on Christmas morning. My dad said, ‘Hey, Brent, go out and get the paper.’ I opened the front door and (the bike is) leaning against the wall right there. It was a YZ 125. It was a red one. I didn’t even know how to ride yet. I had to learn. I was happy about it, but it was sitting in the garage for a couple of weeks. My dad taught me. He put it on me. He said: ‘Here’s the clutch. Here are the gears. Here’s the gas. Go.’ I got used to it, and I got better and better at it.” (HA)

About his off-road truck, Brent said:
“I got it three years ago, and I started putting money into it. Every paycheck I got, I pretty much put it straight into it. I got tons of suspension on it. The tires would drop down and pick up, so I could hit jumps, do whatever. I’ve got, like, 10 grand in suspension. It’s made to hit the dirt. There’s a place called Glamis (Sand Dunes). It’s like 100 square miles of sand dunes. I take it out there. The highest I’ve gotten is 6 feet (of air). It was cool. You’re all strapped in. You’re not going anywhere.” (HA)

About playing eight-man football, Brent said:
“It’s full pads. It’s like regular football except with three fewer guys. It was fun. It’s a lot different. There’s more scoring. I liked it. I liked running around. There wasn’t a playbook. … it was pretty simple. The offense wasn’t like this, where it’s pretty complex. It’s pretty much double out, double slant, stuff like that. It wasn’t real complicated.” (HA)

About Desert Chapel High School, Brent said:
“It was real small. I think there were 250 people there. There were 40 something in my graduating class. Everybody knew each other. It was a Christian school. It’s a pretty good school. … (But) I didn’t go to my senior prom. I’m not into that.” (HA)

About the crowds at his games, Brent said:
“The biggest we had was two grand for one of our home games, the CIF championship game. It seemed like a lot back then. For our (junior college) bowl game, I think we got 9,800 people. That’s the most I’ve ever played in front of. That was an experience.” (HA)

About his accuracy as a passer, Brent said:
“I pitched. I think that’s where I got my arm strength. I was a backup quarterback all through Pop Warner. I think I threw two passes … until I got to high school. Nobody taught me or anything like that. I got in at quarterback and started throwing. … I don’t like baseball anymore. My junior year, I played baseball. My senior year, I played golf.” (HA)

About his hair style, where he had spiked dark hair (he dyed his light-colored hair) until he recently shaved off his hair, Brent said:
“My family hates (the bald look). They want me to go back. But nobody else has the spikes around here, and (the bald look is) comfortable. … I’ve been rocking the spikes for a couple of years. I don’t know when I started doing it, but I liked it. I just grow it out, gel it up. I mess around. You can’t keep your hair the same all of the time.” (HA)

About his two tattoos, Brent said:
“I got this one (near his spine) a couple of days after I turned 18. And I got this one (on the right shoulder) six months later. I’ve been planning on it since I was 15 years old. I can’t really draw. I told the tattoo artist, who drew it up for me. I said, ‘Go ahead and do it.’ I wanted it to look like someone took a razor blade, cut the skin, peeled it off, and you’d see the spine, you’d see the ribs, you’d see everything. It’ll look pretty good when it’s done. Right now it looks pretty crappy. It’ll get there.” (HA)

About choosing UH, Brent said:
“I’d never been here before. I really did not know a lot (about the Warriors). I loved their offense. The offense is one thing that brought me here. I saw them play at midnight (on television) a couple of times last year. Never ever did I imagine (being recruited by UH). One guy on my team called it last year. I was like, ‘No way. But that would be awesome.’ ” (HA)

About adjusting to life in Hawaii, especially the food, Brent said:
“I eat everything. There’s not a food on this Earth that I don’t like. I eat whatever comes. I’ve been eating in the caf for a while now. If I go out, I’ll eat anything. I had never had sushi before. I got introduced to that last Saturday night. It was pretty good.” (HA)

About his social life, Brent said:
“Not too good. No girlfriend or anything. I’m just kicking it, trying to keep my mind on football. Why not? Football is pretty important to me.” (HA)

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