Wide receiver/defensive back
Weight: 187 pounds
Colleges interested: Austin Peay, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Furman, Middle Tennessee State, Alabama State
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Dee Crisp’s taste in music and mature approach to life would suggest that he is much older than his high-school age. He says he’s not really about “new-school” music, and is just fine riding around listening to 90’s groups, such as Jodeci and Boyz II Men.
“My mom was a teen mom,” he said. “When we used to ride to my grandparents’ house, she used to play that music.
“I guess I’m just stuck in that generation.”
Luckily for the Bradley Central Bears, that mature approach carried over to the football field in his first season as a starter.
Crisp comes in at the No. 12 slot in the Times Free Press’s Baker’s Dozen for top prospects for 2013. He spent his sophomore year studying behind two-time all-state receiver James Stovall, who spent a year at the Naval Academy Prep School before signing with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the spring. The rising Bradley senior finished with 47 catches for 747 yards and five touchdowns on offense, while adding 43 tackles (three for loss), three interceptions and a forced fumble on the defensive side of the football.
Over the course of last season, Crisp developed a reputation as a big-play threat — as evidenced by his 15.9-yard per catch average.
“I guess I just got open faster than everybody else, and [former Bradley quarterback] Bryce Copeland found me, and let me go get it,” he said. “I’m just out there playing football.
“I didn’t know what to expect last year because I hadn’t played much before. Now that I have some experience, I have set goals and expectations for myself.”
Those goals include a 1,000-yard receiving season and breaking the state record for catches in a single game — 21, set by Evangelical Christian School’s Lee Mayhall on Sept. 9, 2011. Mayhall broke the record previously set by Stovall, who had 20 catches in a playoff game in 2010.
As a reminder, Crisp has a piece of paper taped to the ceiling. He says they’re a goal, but not a big deal.
“I just want to help the team succeed and win the district,” he said.
Having already scored a 22 on the ACT and with a 3.872 GPA, he seems to already have the academic side taken care of. Crisp has plans of majoring in architecture, but until that college opportunity presents itself, he’s going to enjoy his senior year, playing alongside his brother, Warren, a junior defensive back.
“During the offseason, we butt heads some, but on the field we have that chemistry,” Dee said.
The 6-foot-1, 187-pounder, whose given name is Delandre, quickly developed the nickname Dee in elementary school because he was “tired of everybody butchering my name.” He says that he wants to play football in college and at the NFL level, but doesn’t want to make a career out of it.
“I want to use my degree from college, get a good job and raise my family,” he said.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.