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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Humble Briscoe isn't changing despite his career game

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Unlike many receivers, Dezmon Briscoe says he doesn't need the adulation or acclaim that comes with being one of the nation's top wideouts.

 
 J.P. Wilson/Icon SMI
 Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe is on his way to breaking records -- but remains humble about his success.

Briscoe prefers to remain quiet and humble, concentrating on honing his receiving skills rather than showy displays. That attitude emanated from his parents and high-school coaches and has remained his credo even after becoming a key wide receiver for Kansas.

"My mom and dad taught me to do that," Briscoe said. "They told me to just stay like I am. Even when I got to college and started playing, they told me to stay humble and not change."

He hasn't -- even after a career game last week. Briscoe broke school records with 12 receptions for 269 yards in the Jayhawks' 45-31 loss to the Oklahoma. It was also the top receiving yardage effort in the country so far this season.

"Every time the ball went up, I had a lot of confidence I was going to get it," Briscoe said. "It just seemed to build as the day went on."

It's not a stretch to think the sophomore wide receiver could have erupted for even more yardage. One catch that he appeared to have made in the end zone was snatched off his chest for an interception by Oklahoma defender Lendy Holmes.

"Honestly, I believe I caught the ball that they gave him the interception," said Briscoe, who has produced 43 receptions for 700 yards and eight TDs this season. "The calls just went their way. But I am kicking myself I didn't get to 300 (yards)."

Another big game will be important for the Jayhawks and Briscoe as they prepare to meet No. 8 Texas Tech. The No. 23 Jayhawks still lead the Big 12 North by a game and control their own destiny as they attempt to claim their first North Division title.

Briscoe grew up in Dallas where he was a devoted fan of the Dallas Cowboys. His favorite receiver remains Terrell Owens, but he's determined to bring different qualities to the position than the Cowboys' star receiver.

"I like the way he plays, but with the way he talks so much, I don't like his mouth," Briscoe said. "I like a guy like Larry Fitzgerald better, someone who just does his job."

That attitude has marked Briscoe's career. He's quietly only two touchdown receptions away from tying the school career record of 17 set by Willie Vaughn and Bruce Adams. And he's only two away from tying Marcus Henry's single-season TD record of 10 set last season.

After struggling with lapses in concentration earlier in his career, Briscoe has become steadier as he became more mature. He's dropped only two passes this season, combining with Kerry Meier to become one of the Big 12's most productive receiving threats. If Briscoe and Kerry can maintain their current receiving paces, both will eclipse Kansas' single-season record for receptions of 70, set by Richard Estell in 1985.

One element that has been missing for Briscoe has been consistency from week to week. Briscoe started the season with nine grabs and three touchdowns against Florida International and produced seven catches for 146 yards in his next game. But over the next four games, Briscoe had no more than five catches in any single game until his explosion against the Sooners.

Some of that probably comes from having Meier develop into a consistent playmaker who became Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing's primary target. But when Meier struggled last week, Briscoe was ready to take over as the featured receiver.

"That's the way our offense works," Briscoe said. "We have a lot of playmakers as far as Jon (Wilson), Kerry and all of the other guys. So whoever is hot, Todd keeps going to. I guess last week it was just me."