Meet mister big time: Kenny Britt may be next Plax, and that ain't good BY Ebenezer Samuel DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER Sunday, April 19th 2009, 4:00 AM Meet mister big time: Kenny Britt may be next Plax, and that ain't good BY Ebenezer Samuel DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER Sunday, April 19th 2009, 4:00 AM McIsaac/Getty Kenny Britt wants to be the NFL's Rookie of the Year in the fall. And though the NFL draft isn't untill Saturday, the 20-year-old Rutgers wideout has it all figured out. "It's not hard," he says. "You catch three, four balls a game, 16 games, that's 60 catches. Average 15 yards a catch, that's right around 1,000 yards." Sounds simple enough. But Britt doesn't care about his stats, or so he tells you. He says he'd trade his Big East career receiving yards mark — the one that Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald owned until last fall — for a national championship. "It's all about the team," he says, moments after rattling off his Rookie of the Year plan. And he readily admits he barely follows football. When he arrived at a speed training facility in Arizona early this year and met Darrius Heyward-Bey — the Maryland receiver expected to be a first-round pick — he had never heard of him. But what he does have is a firm grasp of the NFL's salary structure. "It doesn't matter, first-round money, second-round," he says, a glint in his eye. "The money's in the second contract." If you loved Plaxico Burress' antics, get ready to fall in love all over again. Britt is 6-3, 210 pounds. He has great speed for his size, having run the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at Rutgers' Pro Day. And it's that tantalizing marriage of size and speed — one that's earned comparisons to top NFL wideouts like Owens and Broncos star Brandon Marshall — that is forcing scouts to look past his inflated personality. "There are some red flags," says NFL.com scouting analyst Mike Mayock, who has likened Britt's physique to the well-sculpted Owens. "But haven't sensed any downward movement (in the draft)." Quite the contrary, Britt's stock has skyrocketed over the past few weeks after a senior year in which he caught 87 passes for 1,371 yards and seven touchdowns. With fantastic workout after fantastic workout, the enigmatic wideout with the electric personality may go from second-round anonymity to middle-of-the-first-round fame. The Giants and Jets, two teams in need of help at receiver, have worked him out, as have a dozen other teams. But squads haven't just evaluated Britt's skills; they've also studied his mental makeup. With BuRess' star-crossed exit from New York in mind, teams are asking themselves if Britt's on-field T.O. impersonation is worth the off-field T.O.-like headaches or those of Marshall, who has been suspended once and is facing another possible suspension to start this season. "Character is so important in this league," says longtime draft guru Gil Brandt, a former vice president of player personnel with the Dallas Cowboys. "Eespecially after Plaxico." After spending three days with Britt at last month's NFL scouting combine, Brandt dubbed the kid "Hollywood". "He has a flamboyant, charismatic personality," Brandt says. But it's a tag Britt doesn't understand. Nor does he know why Internet bloggers call him a diva or why people question his desire to play. "People who talk to me can tell," says Britt. "But I'm not that kind of person." Tiquan Underwood, Rutgers' other starting wideout, believes his former teammate is just a misunderstood soul. "I can see where people think he's a diva at first," Underwood says. "But once you get to know him, you see that he's not." Britt takes the game seriously, more seriously than people think. He's been playing for 11 years, and says football is his favorite thing to do. "I'd just rather play," he says, explaining why he hardly ever sits through a full game. "rather be outside. I don't watch much TV." He's not selfish or self-absorbed, he says. He tells you about his freshman year at Bayonne HS, when he willingly moved from tailback to wideout. And he tells you about his senior year when he caught just eight passes in Bayonne's Power-rushing attack, all the while keeping his mouth shut. "He's always played team-first," says his father, Jack Britt, a longtime employee at Bayonne HS. "He just wants to win." That fact sometimes gets obscured by the personality that seems to tear through everything else. Scouts never saw Britt sleeping in the Rutgers' players lounge nearly every Friday night last fall just so he'd be up and ready to go by game time. They don't know how hard he took the Knights' five straight losses to start the 2008 season, blaming himself for the disastrous start. Still, Britt is no choirboy. He and teammate Anthony Davis were suspended for one game last season — an eventual 38-0 win over Morgan State, the Knights' first victory of the year — after the pair committed an unspecified violation of team rules in January 2008. Neither Rutgers coach Greg Schiano nor Britt will talk about it. Jack Britt wasn't given specifics, either, he says. "I was just told there was an incident," Jack Britt says. "And Schiano told me it hasn't happened again. Whatever happened, Kenny beat himself up for it." Schiano says that's typical Britt. Despite Britt's prima donna rep, Schiano says Britt is one of the "hardest workers I've ever coached." When reminded that he worked with Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and former Carolina Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan in his days as an assistant at the University of Miami, Schiano doesn't retreat a step. "He approaches the game with incredible intensity," Schiano says. "As high as Ed, as high as Danny Morgan. He ranks right up there with the best, and he's an Energizer Bunny in practices." That didn't stop a flood of questions from scouts about Britt's character at Rutgers' Pro Day last month. Schiano answered all the questions with the same aplomb. "(The diva rumors) are totally false," he says. "Somehow, some way, this stuff got out. But it's just not true." Britt can't wait to eat up an corner, can't wait to see him get into his backpedal, get lost on a double move, and left in the dust as he high-steps his way to the end zone. He did the same thing to a boatload of college defenders, he says, never found one he couldn't beat. Even before you can finish asking if any Big East cornerbacks challenged him, he cuts you off. "Nope," he says. He has a not-so-quiet confidence that's off-putting. But his uncle Rev. Alex Britt says that's not all bad. After all, such brashness transformed Terrell Owens, receiver, into T.O., pop culture phenomenon. "It's all marketing," says Alex Britt about Owens' antics. "The media, you guys take it and do what you want. But it doesn't make these guys bad." Britt says he's not a bad guy. He's just competitive, he says, so much so that if you tell him he can't do something, he most definitely will. "The only thing that matters," he says, "is that keep getting better." If you can believe that.