Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall has made no secret of his desire of adding another wide receiver – specifically one with size and experience – next season through the graduate transfer route. Mendenhall got his wish on Monday (April 29), when former University of Richmond star Dejon Brissett announced for the Cavaliers.
Brissett, a 6’2”, 195-pound wideout, will have one season of eligibility remaining. As a graduate transfer, he’ll be able to play immediately.
This has been a process. Thank you to the Illinois staff and every other coaching staff that recruited me. But I will finish out my eligibility and education at the University of Virginia! 🕷 x ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/ZE8ylWjqZz
— Dejon™ (@ooh_Canada) April 29, 2019
You may notice Brissett mentioning Illinois in the above tweet. That’s because he originally committed to transfer to the Fighting Illini this past March before changing his mind and casting his lot with the Cavaliers. Brissett attended high school at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois before heading to Richmond as a member of the recruiting class of 2015.
Brissett played four seasons with the Spiders. After totaling a modest seven catches for 87 yards and one touchdown in 19 games his true freshman and sophomore seasons combined, the Mississauga, Ontario, Canada native broke out with 63 catches for 896 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. Brissett was named to the All-CAA First Team for his junior season performance.
Brissett’s stellar play continued into the first three games of his senior season. He had 16 receptions for 304 yards and a touchdown receiving as well as 206 yards and a touchdown on four kickoff returns before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the Spiders third game. He received a redshirt and according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch took part in the beginning of Richmond’s spring football session this spring before electing to transfer.
Virginia adds size, experience, and production to a wide receiving corps looking to replace its leading receiver from last year, Olamide Zaccheaus. Including Brissett as well as two true freshmen receivers expected to arrive this summer, the Cavaliers project to have 12 scholarship receivers on the roster next season. The group will be led by seniors Hasise Dubois (52 catches, 578 yards, 5 TDs in 2018) and Joe Reed (25 catches, 465 yards, 7 touchdowns in 2018), who were UVA’s second and third-leading receivers in 2018. Brissett will join those two as the only scholarship senior receivers on the roster, unless the Hoos add another graduate transfer.
If the name Brissett is a familiar one to UVA fans, it’s because Dejon’s younger brother is Syracuse men’s basketball player Oshae Brissett.
Brissett appears to be exactly what Coach Mendenhall is looking for at the wide receiver position. He’ll give UVA another experienced, productive receiver and could help in the kickoff return game as well. Brissett had a terrific junior season and maintained his high quality of play before getting injury his senior year, so he has demonstrated consistent, quality play against FCS-level competition. Unfortunately he couldn’t go through spring practice with the Hoos, but he’ll be a welcome addition when preseason practice rolls around this summer.