A 2001 graduate of Myrtle Point in Broadbent, Ore., Brennan Corbett remembers his freshman year in high school when he took seventh place at the state tournament. In the same weight class, a senior from Hubbard captured the state title. It was Isaiah Camp, who was Stanford-bound that fall.
"He won state and was going to Stanford that fall," remembers Corbett. "That was cool and I decided that I wanted to do it too."
And he did. He won state (two times) and came to Stanford.
But after redshirting his first year and suffering an injury during his freshman season, Corbett decided that the only way to heal himself was to leave. So he left the wrestling room and school, knowing that if he were around, he wouldn't be able to stop himself from practicing. But with an aching shoulder, the only chance for his best recovery was to stop wrestling.
So he left.
But he did not return to his home in Southwestern Oregon, instead, he went to Central America for nearly seven months. He traveled from Guatemala to Colombia; stopping to surf in Costa Rica and experience the local culture in Panama.
"The trip helped me decide what I wanted to do," notes Corbett. "I decided on civil engineering. I'm interested in going back and working in water resources. There are so many gorgeous lakes getting trashed because of a lack of understanding. I want to go back and help develop some simple, low-cost ways to help them deal with their waste water - besides just dumping it in the lakes."
Corbett will be back in school next year, but is unsure about wrestling. He is petitioning the NCAA for an extension based on his medical redshirt, but he is also focused on finishing his degree. With the final decision still up in the air, he knows that this season may be his last, so Corbett continues to challenge himself every day.
"I go all out every day and lead by example as much as I can," says Corbett. "Both my high school coach and coach McCoy stress that even if you're not going to use a move, you may need to counter it, so there is never an excuse to stop learning."
With one year of school left and his collegiate career coming to an end, Corbett knows better than most how much he can still learn. But his experiences continue to shape his life and he also knows how many possibilities lie ahead of him.