WR Dez Bryant tells ESPN he will enter NFL draft
Bryant told ESPN.com that he plans to enter the 2010 NFL draft, disclosing his intentions late Thursday after the NCAA rejected a final appeal by the school to reinstate the junior All-American who lied about contact with former NFL player Deion Sanders.
Bryant sat out the first five games while the NCAA investigated his offseason meeting with Sanders at a Texas athletic center. Bryant admitted that he lied to an NCAA investigator about the meeting and later apologized.
Bryant told ESPN.com that entering the draft is "the best decision for me" and that he will start training for the NFL combine next week in Florida.
"This year didn't go the way I wanted it to," Bryant said. "It was so hard. And to be honest, I had my head down at times. But the NCAA has made their decision. And I respect that. And now I've made mine."
Bryant caught 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns last season while also scoring twice on punt returns. He was the only one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award left in school this year.
In a letter to the NCAA that accompanied his request for reinstatement, Bryant had asked to be allowed to play again this season for the 18th-ranked Cowboys (6-2, 3-1 Big 12). The NCAA decided last week that Bryant should be suspended until next September, OSU appealed and the final word came Thursday from the NCAA's Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee.
Bryant told ESPN.com he hopes to live up to the NFL production of receivers including Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin.
"When I talk to the NFL, I'm going to be truthful with them about what happened," he said. "It will be what I'm supposed to tell them, which is the truth."