CFL Pass

CFL prospect Juwan Brescacin, NIU Huskies underdogs in Poinsettia Bowl

At least one of the top 20 CFL prospects isn’t even sure if he’ll be playing professional football in 2016. As Northern Illinois wide receiver Juwan Brescacin prepares for the biggest game of his playing career – Wednesday’s Poinsettia Bowl pitting NIU against the Boise State Broncos – the Mississauga native is staying humble about his chances after college.

After Monday’s practice session, Brescacin told Canadian media that “It’s bittersweet to have the last practice because you’re looking forward to the game, but you know that it’s the last time playing with these guys. You know that it could be the last time playing football, so you want to make the most of it.”

Brescacin is nevertheless staying optimistic, though, saying that “There's thought of [going to the CFL], but the ultimate goal is obviously going to the NFL.”

While probably not destined to have his name called at the 2016 NFL Draft, Brescacin would certainly like to gain scouts’ attention and leave the Huskies with a bang despite a second-string (or third- or even fourth-string) quarterback pressed into the starting job for the Poinsettia.

Though he peaked statistically in his junior year, Brescacin managed 21 catches for 286 yards, a 13.5 YPC average, in 2015. But perhaps out of his deference to the upperclassman playing his final games in NIU colors, he’s been seeing lots of time to close out the year. In the regular-season closer against Ohio, Brescacin had a literal career day, hauling in six catches for 112 yards highlighted by a 62-yarder.

Despite losing that game, the Huskies advanced to the Mid-American Conference title game by dint of tiebreakers to play recent rival Bowling Green. Unfortunately, no viral-level one-handed heroics would be seen by Brescacin in this one; due to an injury in the Ohio game to NIU’s original third-string quarterback, redshirt freshman Ryan Graham, freshman Tommy Fielder started for the Huskies, with not unpredictable results.

Brescacin didn’t exactly help NIU’s case with an unfortunate dropped pass that might have staunched the scoreboard bleeding with Bowling Green up 21-0 at the start of the third quarter.

For the Bowl, Graham is reportedly penciled in as the starter, though what this means for Brescacin or the NIU passing game in general is anyone’s guess. Graham started three games after replacing injured starter Drew Hare in November and, after finding Brescacin just two times in his first two outings, the pair certainly looked sharp in the Ohio game – before Graham went down again.

And so Brescacin enters his final college game unlikely to see many targets and with his team an 8-point underdog. Naturally, he’s keeping optimistic for the cameras, telling media earlier this week that “It’s really going to come down to what we do as a team. As long as we can execute, I think it’s going to be a pretty good game.”

CFLpass certainly hopes so and wishes Juwan Brescacin good luck in the Poinsettia Bowl. And no matter how it turns out, we’ll await his name called on CFL Draft Day in 2016…

– written by Os Davis