LAWRENCE — Dorance Armstrong has decided to take his career to the next level.
The Kansas football defensive end announced his intention to enter the upcoming NFL Draft via a tweet Thursday afternoon, thanking his coaches and teammates for aiding his development the past three years.
“After weeks of praying and consideration with my family, I have decided to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft,” tweeted Armstrong, who just completed his junior season. “… 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.”
Armstrong, the Big 12 preseason defensive player of the year ahead of the 2017 campaign, finished his KU career with 142 tackles, 34½ tackles for loss and 15½ sacks. He had a career-best 10 sacks in a breakout sophomore season.
“In the past three years I have (taken) so many great things from the university,” the 6-foot-4, 241-pound Armstrong wrote. “(T)he lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories will never be forgotten.”
A projected second-round selection (No. 46 overall) at Luke Easterling’s mock draft published Wednesday at USAToday.com, Armstrong took a step back as a junior, recording two sacks and 9½ tackles for loss.
“Incredibly proud of Dorance and how much he has grown as both a player and a man during his time with us,” KU coach David Beaty tweeted. “Excited to see what (his) future holds.”
NFL draft projection outlet WalterFootball.com also lists Armstrong as a second-round pick (No. 64 overall), writing the defensive end is “an extremely fast edge rusher with a lightning first-step.” The Houston native was a three-star prospect coming out of high school, unranked nationally at recruiting outlet Rivals.com.
The Jayhawks, who went 1-11 last season, are still waiting on a decision from junior Daniel Wise, a 6-3, 290-pound defensive tackle who finished last season with 53 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and five sacks.