In what is sure to remain a recurring theme throughout his college football career, Kansas junior defensive lineman Dorance Armstrong Jr. keeps adding to his list of accolades.
Sports Illustrated included KU’s sack-happy Armstrong in its overview of the top 100 players for 2017.
A consensus All-Big 12 defensive end as a sophomore this past fall, the 6-foot-4, 246-pound Armstrong racked up 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss, while giving his name national recognition within the college — and professional — football worlds.
At SI.com, where Armstrong ranked as the 82nd-best player in the country, Eric Single wrote that the Houston native’s “breakneck” speed as a pass-rusher made him stand out.
What’s more, Single predicted Armstrong “will probably like what he hears if he turns in a productive junior season and tests the NFL waters.”
Asked in the spring about his pro potential and what it might take to play in the NFL soon, Armstrong told the Journal-World: “I know I can get better at a lot of things that I do. So I’m not going to say that I’m NFL-ready. But I just know that I want to get better, so that when I do get there I’ll be like a top player that’s already there — once I get there.”
Thanks in particular to the presence of Armstrong and junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise, Kansas is expected to have one of the Big 12’s best defensive lines.
Junior defensive end Josh Ehambe, who emerged in the spring as a possible starter, said during a recent appearance on KLWN’s Rock Chalk Sports Talk the unit is eager to live up to the hype.
“Coach (David) Beaty always tells us not to listen to what anybody says. Just remain humble,” Ehambe said. “Yeah, it sounds good, but I know a lot of people that a lot of hype was behind their name and then nothing happened. So I think the most important thing is for us to just continue working — not listening to the negative talk or the positive talk. Continue to stay encouraged, continue to work hard and be positive, be hungry within ourselves.”
While the summer months for college football revolve around strength and conditioning training and university courses, Beaty said recently he wants his Jayhawks prepared for life, too.
"We're spending extra time teaching them about what the word consent means, what healthy relationships look like and what alcohol addiction does to you,” Beaty explained at a summer event for KU supporters. “Teaching them about what happens with guys and their money when they get to the NFL and they run out after they buy their mom, their aunt, their uncle and their cousin a house, and they ain't got no more money left. We make sure that we don't leave anything to chance when it comes to training these guys, and the summer is a big part of that."