Dejon Brissett will take a major step in pursuit of his professional sports goals this week and he has a unique adviser to guide him along the path.
Oshae Brissett, the 21-year-old Mississauga-raised forward for the Toronto Raptors, has gone before his elder, football-playing brother and has been offering his thoughts on the journey that begins Thursday.
“Really, I just tell him you’re gonna see a whole bunch of guys you feel like you’re better than — and you feel like you’ll have a better career than — get drafted and have all the hype and stuff, but try not to focus on that,” Oshae Brissett said. “Focus on the opportunity to get wherever you land and do the best you can do.”
Dejon Brissett is a six-foot-one wide receiver from the University of Virginia who is likely to be selected in the first round of the CFL draft. According to the league’s scouting bureau, Brissett is the No. 5 prospect and the second-ranked receiver, behind Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool, of Abbotsford, B.C.
Claypool will likely drop down CFL lists after he was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the NFL draft last week, which could make Dejon Brisset the first pass-catcher picked Thursday. But just being selected will be the greatest difference between the brothers.
Oshae Brissett left Syracuse University after his second season but was not picked in the two-round NBA draft. He ended up signing a two-way deal with the Raptors last summer, splitting his time between the NBA and the developmental G League.
But while the brothers’circumstances are different, the mindset has to remain the same.
“You never really know how the draft is going to go,” Oshae Brissett said. “He feels like he should be where he should be, top player or kind of ahead of a lot of people. Whenever the draft does happen, he should just focus on the end result (and) try to prove everybody wrong.”
The message seems to be getting through.
“His process didn’t go the way he wanted it to go,” Dejon Brissett told football reporters in a conference call last week. “His thing was just always stay positive, stay hopeful and whatever happens is supposed to happen.
“That’s kind of been helping me throughout the process.”
The younger Brissett’s most important advice to his football-playing brother will come after Thursday’s draft — lessons on being a professional.
“I know football’s a lot different, with the lifestyle and the team and the way different teams operate, but I can tell him just as much as I can,” Oshae Brissett said.
“(NBA teams) work out kind of in the morning and then the rest of the day is really on us to either get better or slack off. I’m sure it’s the same with (the CFL) … they have the whole day to do whatever they want.
“Are you going to use that time to watch film, stretch, eat well? Or are you going to go to the club, go shopping or do something that’s not going to benefit you in the long run?
“He knows that, but I feel like hearing it from me kind of puts a cap on it … he knows he has to do the same thing. When he has free time, he could watch some film, run some extra routes, get a lift in, stay occupied the right way.”
Oshae Brissett figured that out enough to prove valuable to the Raptors as they went through spate of injuries this season. He has appeared in 19 games, providing a solid depth piece to a championship contender, and he likely has done enough to guarantee a job next season.
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And if things fall perfectly — if the Argos select Delon Brissett and the Raptors keep Oshae — worlds will align.
“We’ve definitely talked about getting a place to live together if I was to land in Toronto,” Dejon Brissett said on his CFL call. “At the same time I’ve been away from home for along time, so there’s really no preference for me on where I end up.
“But playing in Toronto would be pretty cool, especially because my family is there and my brother plays for the Raptors … that would definitely be an interesting story.”