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Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant Speaks Out About Suspension

Could the Chiefs possibly choose a wide receiver with a top five pick in the draft? Reception is mixed among the population at AP. However, Dez Bryant is a talent worthy of such consideration. He's the clear favorite across the board as the best WR in the draft and projections comparing him to Andre Johnson certainly don't hurt either. With a head coach like Todd Haley who came from Arizona, anything is possible.

However, some of the questions lurking around Bryant have to do with his suspension this last season for lying to the NCAA about his relationship with Deion Sanders. Some considered the punishment too harsh at the time and, from the buzz of sports reporters at the combine, that's still the feeling in the room. Yet when the media had the chance to question Bryant at the combine, the questions were still mostly concerned about the suspension.

Q: How do you answer questions about the NCAA suspension?

A: Whatever's asked, I'm going to answer it.

Q: How excited are you to talk about football and not the NCAA stuff?

A: Very excited. Just to know I'm about to get drafted to an NFL team, I'll be able to get back in a uniform and do what God gave me to do.

Q: Was it difficult to answer those questions today?

A: I haven't heard it much. But it's not difficult at all.

Q: It's been tough talking to the NCAA. Why is it easier today?

A: I accepted the fact, I heard it so many times, I just got better at it.

Q: What do you tell NFL teams about what you did?

A: I just tell them I misled the NCAA about going out to Deion Sanders' house. I apologized for it and I'm back on track and ready to go.

Q: Will that affect how high you are drafted?

A: No sir. I don't think so at all. But it's not my call.

Q: Do they ask you why you did it?

A: Yes sir they did.

Q: What's your answer?

A: I was nervous, the way they came in. Going out to Deion Sanders' house wasn't a violation, but lying was a violation, so I got the punishment.

Q: How is your relationship with Deion Sanders?

A: It hasn't changed. His intention wasn't to hurt me. He'll always be one of my favorite football players. It'll stay that way.

Q: What did Deion say after the suspension?

A: Just keep my head up. Don't get down. He said, 'I've been through worse things than that.' Just keep my head high and keep moving.

Q: What's your biggest regret?

A: My biggest regret was not telling the truth.

Q: Do you worry that people will think you're a bad person?

A: It was a bad mistake. But I'm a great person. I enjoy the opportunity to make people smile.  I'm good at making people smile. People that know me, they know it was a mistake. They know I'm a fun type of person and I love to have fun.

Q: Was the NCAA punishment too harsh?

I felt it was kind of harsh, but at the same time, I took it as a man. There's nothing I can do about it. Just keep going.

Q: Are you looking forward to getting back on the field?

A: That's what I'm looking forward to. I'm ready to put back on those pads. Do what I do best.

Q: You have the same agent, Eugene Parker, as Michael Crabtree. Any teams ask about that?

A: No teams are asking about none of that. That situation, Mike's his own man, I'm my own man.

Q: Was it hard to watch Oklahoma State after the suspension?

A: It was kind of hard to watch, but I still watched it. Kept my same routine. Prayed every Saturday for the opponent and our team. Sat on my couch and watched the game.

Q: Was it hard training by yourself?

A: It was kind of hard training by myself. I didn't do much. I caught footballs. That's about it.

Q: What's your relationship with Deion Sanders?

A: Deion is my mentor. Deion never talked to me about football. It was more of my personal life. Seeing was my mom OK. Was my brother OK? Was my sister OK? He checked up on me every now and then.

Q: What was it like having Deion as a mentor?

A: Made me feel good. Just like any kid, it's Deion Sanders. He taught me the right things, not the wrong things.

Q: What NFL receiver do you compare yourself to?

A: I would compare myself to Larry Fitzgerald. As far as going up for the football, tackling the ball.

Q: What teams are most interested in you?

A: To be honest, I really can't tell. Hopefully, someone will show interest.

Q: What did you learn from your mom through all this?

A: The decisions my mom made, that was for my sister, my brother, for us to have things. She made those decisions, but it doesn't change how I feel about her. I felt like everything I have accomplished and the success I have, I owe it all to her.

Q: How high do you expect to go?

A: I really don't know. To tell the truth, I really don't care. Whoever drafts me.

Q: Are you looking forward to just football and fun after all you've been through?

A: Yes sir. The best thing that ever happened to me was coming to Oklahoma State. I felt whenever I got there, that's all I needed. I knew if I do all the things I'm supposed to do right, I'd be able to care of my mom and we wouldn't have to worry about that anymore. I feel like God blessed me to accomplish all these things.

Q: After missing so much football, are you prepared to go be a No. 1 receiver as a rookie?

A: Yes. I feel like I'm going to go to wherever and do my best. I'm anxious to get back on the field. I feel like when I do get back on the field, I'm going to come out and make plays the best way I can.

Q: Did you feel like you had blown your chance to solidify your draft status?

A: It did at the time. But when I sat down and thought about it, I know what went on through that situation. I just talked to my mom, and my best friend. My best friend told me, you gotta take time.

Q: Who's your best friend?

A: Darrell King.

Q: Do you hope to change people's perception about you?

A: Yes sir. I felt teams that watched me, they can see I am a great player. Like I said, I get along real well with people. I love being
around people. I love being around kids. I just love making people smile.

Q: Did you talk to Eugene Parker about his holdout reputation?

A: I really didn't look at it. I looked at Eugene, what type of person he was. Checking his background. Everything was great. He also had the best player in the NFL as one of his players. Larry Fitzgerald.

Q: How important is it to get to camp on time?

A: It will be real important. To be honest, I can't wait to get back in pads. Most likely I will be there in camp.

Q: Will you work out here?

A: No sir. I'll go at my pro days. March 10. In Stillwater.

Q: What's your relationship with Mike Gundy?

A: I haven't talked to coach Gundy in awhile. But me and Coach Gundy's relationship, it's real good.

Q: You seem to be an attacking receiver. How does that benefit the rest of your game?

A: I see myself as a person on the field just trying to make something happen. I feel in my mind, I can make a play anywhere on the field. Kick return, punt return, anywhere the coach puts me, wherever.

Q: Why aren't you working out here?

A: Last week I tweaked my hamstring a little bit. I tweaked it a little in one of the games I played in.

Q: Is Brandon Pettigrew sort of like a big brother?

A: Yes sir. He talked to me every now and then. It's not much. But when I talked to him, he give me the right advice.

Q: What kind of advice did he give on the draft process?

A: He didn't really give me advice about the draft process. Just stay focused.

Q: Will the layoff affect you?

A: I feel like it hasn't affected my game any. Before I started my training, my conditioning had to come back, but as far as the game of football, didn't affect me at all.

Q: Are you worried that it will damage your OSU legacy?

A: It don't. Because I feel, the people at Oklahoma State, they know who I am. They know I love to have fun with 'em. I talk to 'em. I just made a mistake and I feel like they forgave me for it.

Q: But what about the receiving records you could have broken?

A: Not that important. I'm just out there playing football.

Q: What did you get from Deion Sanders?

A: You always get good advice. His intention wasn't to hurt me. He always gave me the right information. I still thank him to this day for it.

Q: What's the best advice he gave?

A: Just stay focused. Stay hungry. Don't give up.

Q: What do you want teams to know about you this week?

A: Dez Bryant's a great person to be around. He loves the game of football. He can't wait to get back on the field and do whatever to help the team.

Q: What's your favorite college memory?

A: It would have to be my sophomore year, we played U of H, second game of the season. I had a great game. I had 236 yards and three touchdowns.

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