After this season, wide receiver Kerry Meier is gone for good. I assume he will be taking his 1,958 career yards, 16 career touchdowns, and his KU-career-leading 186 catches (with five regular season games to go) with him.
Fortunately the Jayhawks should have a great committee to replace him with in 2010, especially since Dezmon Briscoe will return to school for his senior season, right?
Well, I have no idea what Briscoe plans to do next season at all, but I can tell you exactly what I would do if I were him.
I would leave, and if he does I won't be upset with him whatsoever.
The knocks on Briscoe are that he plays in a spread offense instead of a pro-style one and that he runs a slow 40. Unfortunately for Briscoe, these problems aren't ones he can easily fix.
This being said, his draft stock is never going to get any higher, either.
Avoiding injury, finishing the year strong, flashing improved hands over the summer, and at least knocking his 40-time down to the lower 4.5's would go a long way in making Briscoe very difficult to ignore anywhere past the second round. His ability to produce after the catch, usefulness in special teams, and grade-A size and athleticism are definitely NFL-caliber.
Besides, if Briscoe stays in school, he will have to adjust to a new quarterback (not to mention an offense that will likely be modified), face constant double-teams, risk more damage to his reputation due to academic troubles, and attempt to avoid draft-squashing injuries in his senior season.
The only thing that could or should stop Briscoe from tossing his name in right now is the other potential returners/prospects, and where he projects to fit among them.
Mike Williams (Syracuse), Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State), Golden Tate (ND), Arrelious Benn (Illinois), and Damian Williams (USC) are all juniors who would likely be drafted ahead of or very near to Dezmon Briscoe. Several people (although I have no idea why) even place Mark Dell (Michigan State), Terrance Toliver (LSU), and Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech) in the same category of high-to-middle-round, early-entry receivers.
If even half of those receivers declare, Briscoe may not even project among the top 10 receivers available in the draft. Then again, it all depends on who's doing the scouting.
Whether or not he is actually drafted there, though, I think Briscoe will likely project as going high in the third or low in the second round. With all risks considered, hearing this from an important person or two would probably be more than enough to lure the Kansas product away from school.
The opportunity to make a boat-load of money probably isn't encouraging Briscoe to graduate, either.
Ultimately, staying his last season should prove to be a valuable move for Briscoe, but it wouldn't. As previously discussed, even an added year of stat-column dominance would mean very little for Briscoe as scouts have declared that the Jayhawk offense is more valuable to him than he is to the offense.
The only real rise on draft-boards that Briscoe would get by the end of next season would come from the overall lack of talented receivers available for the draft.
I sincerely hope that Briscoe does surprise me and returns to school, but even more-so, I want my fellow Kansas fans to be prepared.
It's time to start accepting the sadly-realistic probability that Briscoe shouldn't return to the University of Kansas next season.