Bryant still considers Deion his mentor

INDIANAPOLIS – Dez Bryant’s career at Oklahoma State ended prematurely after he lied to NCAA investigators about his relationship with Deion Sanders.

That did not end Bryant’s relationship with the all-time great cornerback.

“Deion is my mentor,” Bryant said at the NFL combine. “He never talked to me about football, it was more of my personal life, just seeing if my mom was OK, seeing if my brother was OK, seeing if my sister was OK.

“He checked up on me every now and then. It made me feel good, just like any kid. It’s Deion Sanders. And he was telling me the right things, not the wrong things.”

Bryant regrets not being honest with the NCAA investigators. He said he lied to them because he was nervous, not because he had anything to hide. Bryant denies that Sanders served as a runner for agent Eugene Parker, who will represent Bryant.

“His intentions were never to hurt me,” Bryant said. “He always gave me the right information. I still thank him to this day for it.”

Michael Crabtree, another talented receiver who considers Sanders a mentor, is also represented by Parker. Crabtree’s holdout continued well into the season, but Bryant said he hopes to be signed by the first day of training camp.

“I can’t wait to get back in pads,” said Bryant, who was suspended for the final 10 games of Oklahoma State’s season.