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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Dorance Armstrong to skip senior year at KU, enter NFL Draft

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) and Kansas defensive tackle Kellen Ash (97) bring down Ohio quarterback Quinton Maxwell (7) during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) and Kansas defensive tackle Kellen Ash (97) bring down Ohio quarterback Quinton Maxwell (7) during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

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The next time the University of Kansas football team takes the field it will do so without one of its captains and most talented players.

Defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. announced Thursday his decision to leave KU a year early and enter the NFL Draft.

A 6-foot-4, 246-pound edge rusher from Houston, Armstrong made his plans to skip his senior year at Kansas public via a note he posted to Twitter.

“First off I want to thank (God) for putting me in position to make this happen. Second, I want to thank Coach (David) Beaty and Coach (Clint) Bowen and the rest of the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play at the University of Kansas,” Armstrong wrote. “After weeks of praying and consideration with my family, I have decided to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.”

The defensive lineman also thanked KU’s administration, academic support staff and fans, as well as his teammates.

“In the past three years I have took so many great things from the university — the lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories will never be forgotten,” Armstrong added. “I’m excited to start this new journey and I hope and pray that my KU family will continue to support me as I go on to live my dreams.”

He concluded the message with: “Once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk.”

Armstrong didn’t meet his Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year expectations in 2017, but recorded 63 total tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, forced three fumbles, recovered a fumble, broke up four passes and accounted for seven QB hurries in what proved to be his final season at Kansas.

Even so, Scouts Inc.’s NFL Draft rankings at ESPN.com assigned Armstrong a 77 grade and designated him as the 66th-best prospect available, and ninth-best defensive end in the draft.

USA Today’s Draft Wire site lists Armstrong as a possible second-round pick, at No. 46 overall.

A mock draft at WalterFootball.com projects Armstrong as the 64th overall pick (last of the second round) in this year’s draft.

During a breakout sophomore year, in 2016, Armstrong first appeared on the NFL’s radar by producing 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 56 total tackles, five quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and and two fumble recoveries.

KU head coach Beaty, headed into his fourth season with the program, also took to Twitter shortly after Armstrong’s announcement to share his thoughts on the move.

“Incredibly proud of Dorance and how much he has grown as both a player and a man during his time with us. Excited to see what your future holds,” Beaty wrote.

The NFL’s deadline for college underclassmen to apply for special early eligibility is Jan. 15, so Armstrong’s KU teammate, defensive tackle Daniel Wise, has a little more than a week to decide whether he, too, will leave Kansas one year early in order to declare.

None by Dorance‼️

Comments

Jeff Foster 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Crap, that's going to cost us a bunch of games! Wait...

John Fitzgerald 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I’m guessing a lot of people expected this and I think it’s the best decision for Dorance. He had one great year and followed it up with a mediocre year. Having back to back mediocre years wouldn’t be good so he might as well strike while the iron is still warm. He has the size, work ethic and tools, he just needs a coaching staff capable of maximizing his potential. Good luck, Dorance!

Mike Hart 2 weeks, 5 days ago

On brighter side, perhaps this will be encouragement for Miles Emery to sign with KU, as the 3 star DE is still unsigned anywhere.

Chris DeWeese 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Dorance, thanks for everything you did for KU. I wish you could have had greater success while with the KU program, but I'm sure you'll land somewhere great.

Larry Knzas 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Totally agree. Rock Chalk!! You will do well at the next level!!

No suprise in this decision. I believe Wise will make the same.

Mark Winkler 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I didn't know you could only win a game and still go to the NFL, I guess they did win more then the browns so there is that.

Gerry Butler 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Damm, I didn't realize an talented individuals future depended upon how a team did, learn something every day huh? -HEY here is some FYI a team could not win ANY GAMES and an individual player with talent can still go idiot.- Man every day.

Bryson Stricker 2 weeks, 5 days ago

This really sucks, Dorance is a second round lock. I think he could win his way into the first to a good team late that realizes how good he is. If he would have stayed I would see him going top 5-10 next year but you gotta chase that bag.

I think Azur Kamara can fill in his shoes decently well but would have been great to see a team try to take them both on with Wise as well.

I remain hopeful that Daniel Wise will stay. Going to be hard for the coaching staff to recover losing a captain and a beast, but I will gain nothing being pessimistic about it.

Rock Chalk, lets get it.

Stephen Burtin 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I'm happy for Dorance, but what little hope I had for next year is now all but lost.

Gunnar Hays 2 weeks, 5 days ago

A mock draft I saw had him going to New England at 64. Its hard to cheer for the Patriots in any way but he would make a lot of sense there and probably do really well. Maybe the Broncos should take him at 40, they have good luck with Jayhawk defense players. Three Kansas alumni all starting on one side of the ball would be pretty cool, sort of like a better version of Dallas with Boise State...

Tim Orel 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I don't know if Aquib Talib will still be with the Broncos next year. He has apparently not gotten along with this year's coaching staff and may be traded. He's been great, even with his fiery temper and suspensions.

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I would say this is a good move. Looking at another one win season, indirectly, would not help him. Congrats to Dorance!

Robert Brock 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Hy-Vee will be selling top-quality tickets for $5 apiece. Zenger is a genius!

John Joseph Gorski 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Well that beats the $6 per game tickets I get through stubhub lol

Aaron Paisley 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I'm not surprised by this decision. Unless Armstrong were the bed at the combine, he'll be a 2nd day pick which means a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Best fit is probably as a 3-4 OLB pass rush specialist until he can add more bulk to his frame and then he'd likely be a good fit as a 4-3 DE as well.

John Myers 2 weeks, 5 days ago

“Once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk.” - until I bail on y'all..

While I certainly can't say I blame him for leaving, I always hate seein' guys leave their team behind.

John Brazelton 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The whole point of playing college ball is to get a chance to go to the NFL. KU pro players have usually done quite well once they've been drafted or even better as free agents. Hopefully, it will work out for Dorance at the next level. If nothing else, the pay is a hell of a lot better than the average KU grad.

Chris Bailey 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The bad part in this decision is if he doesn't make it then he's left with no degree. Always hate to see kids leave without their degrees. Best wishes DA!

Aaron Paisley 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Many players who don't leave woth a diploma work finishing their degrees during the off-season. I suspect Armstrong will take this path.

Suzi Marshall 2 weeks, 5 days ago

To make a turnaround Kansas football needs put people in the NFL. Armstrong is as ready as he'll ever be. I just hope The Texans or Chiefs get him!!!

John Fitzgerald 2 weeks, 5 days ago

So I did a comparison of KU’s Orange Bowl Team and this years Orange Bowl Winner to see who would have the advantage. Pretty cool actually.

http://hawkjock.com/kansas-vs-wisconsin-a-back-to-the-future-orange-bowl/

Ryan Shelton 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Nice post. I wonder if you take it a bit further with not just the #1 guy at each position, but the overall at each position. For example, would adding Jake Sharp's numbers, since the two were a two-headed monster, put Kansas ahead of Wisconsin in your rushing comparison?

John Fitzgerald 2 weeks, 4 days ago

I definitely thought about it but decided to keep it simple and just compare the number 1 guys at the main positions on offense. But great point though.

Jeff Coffman 2 weeks, 5 days ago

This was an easy choice, his stock was high last year, his stock is stable this year. If the defense was similar to this year, his stock would drop. Only if he had an unbelievable year would his stock rise more.

My personal guess is he will be a mid-third round draft choice.

I always believed if I could have received my MBA in 1 year instead of 2, I would have done it in a heartbeat. So when a NBA or NFL caliber player gets his NFL or NBA degree in 1, 2, or 3 years instead of taking 4, I celebrate his accomplishment.

Good Luck Dorance and when they ask which school you went to, please don't name your high school or some other school, be proud of being a Jayhawk (as it appears you will)!!

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