Dependable, determined, dynamic ? those "Ds" aptly describe Wake Forest's Deese -- one of the premier wide receivers in the ACC entering the 1999 season ? the second-leading receiver in the league a year ago with 68 receptions, a figure that ranked him 20th in the country in that category as well ? only All-American Torry Holt had more catches in '98 ? Demon Deacon coaching staff now cannot wait for his senior year and what should be another tremendous year ? that excitement was heightened during the spring practice period when he made big catch after big catch in scrimmage situations ? performed at that level while also working with the WFU track team as part of an ACC championship 4x100 relay team (along with football teammates Reggie Austin, Chris Justice & John Stone) ? highlight of the spring came on April 17th when he helped win that conference track crown at Clemson, then drove back to Groves Stadium and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the Spring Game that evening ? possesses outstanding athletic skills, including speed (ran a 4.3 this past spring in the 40), quickness, leaping ability (3rd on the team in the vertical jump at 37.5") and soft hands ? also quite elusive as a runner, often times making the first (and sometimes even a second) tackler miss after he makes a reception ? plays with a real toughness and determination that is contagious among his teammates ? since redshirting in 1995, has proven to be the "go to" guy in many crucial situations, so there's no reason to think that will be any different this fall ? enters '99 as the #5 receiver in Wake Forest history (152 receptions), a figure that stands 17th on the ACC career chart ? holds down the seventh spot on the school's receiving yardage list (1,904 yds) as well ? ranked among the top 10 receivers in the ACC in both receptions and receiving yardage in each of the last two years -- and that was playing alongside the league's all-time leading receiver Desmond Clark ? needs 65 catches this year to break Clark's ACC record for receptions in a career (216) ? that may be a lot to ask, but this is one player who has seldom disappointed during the past three seasons.
1998: A starter in every game and a star in most ? four times surpassed the 100-yard mark in receiving, including three straight outings to close the schedule ? that tied a Wake Forest record for consecutive 100-yard performances set by Ricky Proehl in 1989 ? reached double digits in receptions against both NC State (12) and Georgia Tech (11), while totaling eight catches at Air Force and in win over Navy ? had at least three receptions in all 11 dates and five-or-more on seven occasions ? first topped 100 yards in receiving on national TV versus Navy (8 catches for 122 yds) ? came through with game-tying TD reception in closing minute to send App State game into overtime ? best statistical afternoon came at NC State when he established new career highs of 12 receptions and 167 yards ? scored on a nine-yard pass from Brian Kuklick that day, while also setting up another score with a 48-yard reception ? longest play of the year, though, came the following week on a 56-yard touchdown catch and run versus Florida State ? ended the year with a terrific effort at Georgia Tech (11 catches for 141 yds) ? his 68 total receptions equaled the second-highest single season total in WFU history (Marlon Estes had 68 in 1995) ? was eighth in the ACC in receiving yardage (75.1 ypg).
1997: Opened the year in spectacular fashion with touchdown receptions in each of the first three games ? his 12-yard TD catch gave Wake the lead to stay in the third quarter of win over Northwestern ? scored from 13 yards out at East Carolina and on an eight-yard pass versus Georgia Tech ? went over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career in that matchup with Tech, grabbing seven passes for 118 yards ? turned in another outstanding effort the next outing with nine catches for 104 yards in victory over NC State ? a spectacular leaping catch on a critical third down play kept alive the game-winning drive that led to Matthew Burdick's field goal against the Wolfpack ? scored his fourth TD of the year at North Carolina on a 19-yard toss (from Brian Kuklick, the passer in his other three scores as well) ? went over the 100-yard mark one more time in meeting with Clemson (102 yards on 7 receptions) ? caught five-or-more passes seven times overall ? finished second on the team with 54 catches (behind only Desmond Clark's school-record 72 receptions).
1996: Started the season slowly with a 16-yard reception against Northwestern his only contribution in the first three games ? had at least two catches in the last eight dates, though, as his playing time and productivity increased more and more ? nearly reached the 100-yard mark with 90 yards on four receptions, including a 40-yarder, versus Navy ? totaled five catches the next week at Florida State, then turned in a season-best outing in finale at NC State ? had seven catches for 92 yards, including a two-yard touchdown, that afternoon.
BACKGROUND: One of the top high school prospects in North Carolina as a senior at Scotland County High ? on the receiving end of 41 passes for 760 yards in 1994, teaming with current Deacon Kevin Smith to lead their squad to a 10-2 record and the second round of the state playoffs ? scored touchdowns as a receiver (10) and special teams player (two on kickoffs, one of 86 yards on a punt return) ? even contributed as a long-snapper as well, a duty he handled in the Shrine Bowl ? was the leading pass receiver in that all-star game, catching four passes for 41 yards ? selected to the state's East-West contest as well ? started for two years at Scotland under coach Mark Barnes, totaling over 1,300 yards in pass receptions ? a standout on the track-and-field team, earning MVP honors as a junior and senior ? placed fourth in the state championships his senior year in the 300-meter hurdles and fifth in the pole vault ? majoring in sociology ? age 22 (born 5/10/77).
REC YDS AVG. TD LG 1996 30 381 12.7 1 40 1997 54 697 12.9 4 41 1998 68 826 12.1 3 56 TOTALS 152 1904 12.5 8 56
MOST YARDS RECEIVING