Looks Like University Of Illinois - Dejon Brissett

Mar 19, 2019

I'll just say it: Dejon Brissett will always suffer for not being Jeff Thomas or AD Miller. "We're getting one of the top receivers in the nation? YES!" (Nope, back to Miami). "We're getting AD Miller after all?" (Nope, didn't get admitted.) "We're getting a wide receiver from FCS Richmond?" Yep.

That's not fair to him, of course. He's a guy who went to Lake Forest Academy in Chicago who grew up dreaming of playing FBS football, didn't get any offers, went to Richmond, had a very nice career, and now has the opportunity to give FBS football a shot back in the state where he played his high school ball. But he'll unfortunately be seen as "not Jeff Thomas".

It's like our search for a point guard in 2016. We were focused on Zavier Simpson, it seemed like we might lead for his services, and then he unexpectedly visits (and commits to) Michigan. We then land our backup target - Te'Jon Lucas. But when I saw Lucas on the court the next fall, unfairly, my thoughts were "yeah but he's not Zavier Simpson". It's the same thing here: we were going to land a WR transfer from Miami with All American potential, and then we were going to land a WR transfer from Oklahoma without All American potential, and now we landed a WR transfer from Richmond. Unfair, yes, but that's how this has gone down.

The flip side here: we really need WR depth. If we knew Jeff Thomas and AD Miller were out, we probably would have chased more high school (or juco) wide receivers, but now here we are, with signing day over, and Thomas/Miller gone, needing wideouts. If we have to get that from FCS, so be it.

Unfortunately, wide receiver transfers just never seem to work out for us. Remember Brandon Clear? 98% of you just said "who?". Brandon Clear was a fifth-year transfer from Clemson back in 2011. We were looking for WR depth, and we landed Clear from Clemson, and he finished with zero catches in eight games. Or Tyrin Stone-Davis. We needed WR help in 2014, and we landed a 4-star juco WR, and... zero catches in his two seasons. Hopefully Brissett is the guy who breaks that trend.

I searched the YouTubes and found some film on him (which is weird that a college player has "junior year film", although I guess if moving up to a higher level of football was his plan all along, then I could see why he'd put "film" out there). The best asset I see: hands. Catches some balls an inch off the turf, grabs a pass well over his head, etc. I don't need to tell you that catching the ball has been an issue in Champaign. I guess it's possible he edited out the 37 times he dropped passes, but there's some stuff in this film that shows he might be that possession receiver we need. Being a college receiver is 62% "there's going to be a corner draped all over you, and the pass isn't exactly going to be in the best spot, but you need to catch it anyway". Someone needs to step forward next year and be that guy.

Where does he fit in the rotation? Well, he's likely going to see a fair number of passes thrown his way. With Thomas and Miller no longer coming, there aren't really any "knowns" outside of Ricky Smalling. I'm hopeful that the promise Dominic Stampley showed in the second half of the season is fulfilled this fall, and I'm hopeful that Trenard Davis can have a surprising senior season, but there are no "knowns". There are only "hopes". As in, I hope that one of the seniors is a surprise (Caleb Reams or Justice Williams), I hope that Edwin Carter returns from injury healthy, and I hope that one of the lower-level transfers (Donny Navarro from Valpo and Brissett from Richmond) can contribute.

Tom Cruises? Probably 1.5, but I'll bump to 2 because of his hands.

Dejon Brissett (great name by the way), Two Tom Cruises.


JimmyTheLayup on March 20 @ 07:50 AM CDT

At the time you were probably actually thinking, "yeah but he's not Xavier Simpson."

stuone19 on March 20 @ 08:58 AM CDT

Also, per the Richmond website:

  • In 2017, Named to All-CAA First Team
  • In 2018, played in three games before suffering a season-ending injury
  • Had 41 kick returns for 23 yards/return with 1 TD
  • Had 12 punt returns for 13.8 yards/return wih 1 TD

So he certainly flashed potential, especially on special teams, but suffered an injury this past season... maybe worth an extra half TC?

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