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 in the last 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, 34.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 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 9.5 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.