As some of you may remember, I posted a schedule prediction not too long ago. A collection of crazies to the east took it a bit more anarchistic than it was intended, but to each his own. What you may not remember is that the bottom of that post featured a dashing picture of one Dezmon Briscoe, he of the newly cut hair (Hopefully we'll be able to locate a picture of that before too long, as well as finding out who else is making this fashion statement).
Aside from his sweet new hairdo, we here at KJ-IBT are expecting big things from Dezmon and that's why he got the coveted picture slot at the bottom of such a controversial post. More specifically, we expect him to be the break out star of the 2008 season. Some may say that he doesn't qualify as he already put together one of the best freshman seasons in Kansas history for a receiver as he totaled 43 catches for 496 yards and 7 touchdowns. Only 3 others had more catches (and 2 are in the NFL), only 2 had more yards (1) and only 1 had more touchdowns (gone), so it's not like he'll be coming out of nowhere. Bear with me anyhow.
You can't really pinpoint any one person outside of Todd that was THE breakout player last year. But anyone who went to the Spring game knew that for KU to be successful Marcus Henry was going to have to make a difference. And what a difference he made, finishing with 54 catches for 1014 yards and 10 TDs. Finally, that speed and height were put to good use. This year, Dezmon needs to be Marcus Henry.
What about Dexton Fields, you ask? You're right, Dexton and his 63/864/6 return and will likely be bumped up to the #1 receiver slot. 'Lest we forget, over the last three games (ISU, MU, VT) Fields averaged 9 catches for 109 yards and a score. Throw in Kerry Meier, Jonathan Wilson and Rod Harris (?) and I'll easily concede that Briscoe doesn't necessarily need to put up Henry's numbers. But those 10 scores have to come from somewhere and I think Briscoe is the guy to take a handful of them. Marcus had the speed to beat his man, but more importantly he had the size to seal him off inside or go up and get a ball in the red zone. These are the things that Briscoe will need to do so that the offense doesn't find itself missing Marcus Henry.
What are your thoughts? Who else do you think needs to emerge?
P.S. The National Championship banner will be unveiled at Late Night on the Phog. Personally, I wish they had waited until the first game, but I can understand why this makes some sense as well. Also, someone needs to tell Andy Katz that neither Mario Little or Tyrone Appleton are freshmen.