Kansas WR to skip senior year, enter NFL draft

With a parting thanks to controversial coach Mark Mangino, wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe said Friday he will forgo his senior season at Kansas and enter the NFL draft.

Briscoe finished his three-year career as Kansas’ all-time leader with 3,240 yards receiving. The 6-foot-3 junior’s 219 receptions were seven behind teammate Kerry Meier for the school record, and his 31 touchdown receptions eclipsed the school mark.

One of the nation’s most explosive receivers, Briscoe finished his junior season with 84 catches for 1,337 yards and nine touchdowns, ranking fifth nationally with 121.55 yards receiving per game and eighth with 7.64 catches.

Briscoe said his decision was not affected by the Thursday night resignation of Mangino, who reached a financial settlement with the university following an investigation into alleged verbal abuse of players.

“I sat down Friday and talked to my mom and Monday I sat down with coach Mangino and some of the coaching staff and came down with the decision that I am going to declare for the NFL,” Briscoe said. “I just want to thank the University of Kansas for the opportunity it gave me to play for their football team. I’m very excited. I feel like I’m blessed because I made it through three seasons injury-free. ”

Briscoe will be a tempting pick for any NFL team. He has good hands and outstanding downfield speed, piling up 14 games with more than 100 yards receiving. Against Oklahoma in 2008, he set the school single-game record with 269 yards receiving. He did have two key fumbles in a close loss to Missouri in the regular-season finale that kept the Jayhawks from becoming bowl-eligible.

“I say I rank in the top 10 (of wide receivers coming out),” he said. “There are people with the NFL body frames but I think I’m in the top 10.”

One red flag, however, will be a history of poor work habits. He was not allowed to join spring practice last year and was benched for the season opener for unspecified disciplinary reasons. He was known to have a tendency to be late for meetings and practice.

“Obviously, I had some problems during the offseason,” He said. “Coach Mangino, I just want to thank him because he gave me the opportunity to stay around. The stuff I did, other head coaches would have just booted me off the team. I want to thank him for that. A lot of things have helped me mature.”