KU receiver Dezmon Briscoe
There was not a lot of suspense surrounding Dezmon Briscoe’s announcement Friday afternoon that he’d be forgoing his senior season to declare for the 2010 NFL Draft.
As a rule of thumb, when immensely talented athletes who are projected as high NFL Draft picks call postseason news conferences, it’s a safe assumption that their days on a college campus are numbered.
“We all know why I’m here,” said Briscoe, as soon as he’d taken his seat Friday in a conference room at Allen Fieldhouse.
Briscoe, who said he made his decision after speaking with recently resigned KU coach Mark Mangino last week, is projected anywhere between a first- and third-round pick after putting together arguably the best career a Kansas receiver has ever enjoyed.
In just three seasons, the 6-foot-3, 202-pound Dallas native essentially revolutionized the receiver position at KU, finishing his career with 219 receptions for 2,266 yards and 31 touchdowns — each of which shattered the previous school marks.
“He is easily the most talented player I have ever coached,” said receivers coach David Beaty in a statement. “It was a thrill to coach him and watch what he could do on a day-to-day basis.”
Since exploding for 14 catches and 201 yards in last season’s Insight Bowl victory over Minnesota, Briscoe has kind of figured that an NFL future — assuming he maintained his production as a junior — was a strong possibility.
And following a ’09 season in which he was tapped as a first-team all-Big 12 selection, he decided he was ready to make the leap to professional football — a decision aided by the departure of a talented KU senior class that included quarterback Todd Reesing.
“Todd’s been my quarterback all three years I’ve been here,” Briscoe said. “A remarkable guy. Not another quarterback I’d rather have in the nation than him. ... I don’t really have that kind of chemistry with the incoming quarterbacks or the quarterback that’s already here.”
While his on-field production was never an issue, Briscoe admitted Friday to making the occasional mistake during his three-year tenure in Lawrence. He was granted a diversion agreement following theft by deception charges for an incident stemming from a 2007 incident at Wal-Mart, and was suspended for spring practice for an undisclosed violation of team rules, but said he was thankful Mangino allowed him to remain at the university in lieu of his off-the-field woes.
“I feel like the stuff that I did, other head coaches in the nation would have just booted me off the team,” Briscoe said.
As of now, Briscoe plans to join friend and fellow Big 12 standout Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State in Tampa to begin training for the NFL Combine. He said he’s been contacted by various agent-types, but has yet to hire representation.
At the urging of his mother, meanwhile, he said he intends to finish his degree at some point — insisting that the penalty for failing to do so would likely be severe.
“I’m probably a little too old for this, but (she’d) probably give me a whoopin’,” he said.
“She just wants what’s best for me,” he added. “She’d be upset with me (if I didn’t earn my degree), but I don’t think she’d force me to do it. But I feel like it’s something that I need to do.”
Oddly enough, Mangino’s first public comments since his Thursday resignation came in a release announcing Briscoe’s departure.
“Dezmon had a great career here at Kansas and had a lot of outstanding achievements,” Mangino said. “Dezmon and his family are ready for the challenge of the NFL. Dez will be highly successful and I wish him nothing but the very best.”
Briscoe, who will finish the semester at KU, said Friday he views himself as one of the top 10 college receivers nationally, and has spent some time researching his draft stock online.
As for potential NFL destinations, Briscoe said he wouldn’t mind joining former Jayhawk Anthony Collins in Cincinnati.
“I love the Cincinnati Bengals,” he said. “... I’ve just been fascinated by them since they got the new jerseys.”