K-State's Reed and Pringle to declare for NFL Draft

Kansas State return specialist D.J. Reed (2) dodges a tackle by Central Arkansas' Lester Wells (17) for a 96-yard kickoff return during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Reed was finally tackled on the four-yard-line. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Kansas State Wildcats will lose two dynamic players before the 2018 season as junior wide receiver Byron Pringle and junior defensive back D.J. Reed announced they would declare for the NFL Draft.

Reed, a transfer from Cerritos College, announced his decision on Twitter.

He made his Wildcat debut in 2016. He was named First Team All-Big 12 honors and was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2016.

He finished 2017 with 47 tackles, four tackles for loss, four interceptions, and nine pass break ups. He also recovered two fumbles and forced another.

Reed shined on special teams, averaging 34.2 yards per kickoff return in 2017. He had one touchdown, a 99-yard return against Kansas.

He also returned 17 punts, averaging 14.8 yards per return and scoring one touchdown.

After one season at Butler Community College, Pringle transferred to K-State. He made 69 receptions for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns in two seasons.

He also found a role on special teams, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in his career. His longest was a 99-yard return in 2016 against Texas.

Pringle was a 2016 First Team All-Big 12 returner.

Byron Pringle wrote an open letter to fans announcing his decision.

He wrote:

First, I would like to give my sincere thanks to Kansas State University for providing me with a tremendous educational and athletic opportunity. Attaining a higher education has been my lifelong dream and I could not have made it this far without the love and encouragement from my family and friends. Thanks to the endless support of my coaches, faculty, and everyone in the athletic department, I have had the most amazing collegiate experience. I have learned lifelong lessons about responsibilities, accountability, teamwork, loyalty, friendship, and grace under pressure. With the support of my parents, coaches, and mentors, I have decided to forgo my final season as a Wildcat in order to pursue my next dream: to play in the NFL. I plan to enter the 2018 NFL draft.

I am excited to take this next step in my journey to become a better person, to continue learning, maturing, and excelling as a responsible, upstanding citizen. I pray I can become not just an honorable representative of the sport of football, but also a role model and philanthropist, giving back to the community and doing my part in making this world a better place.

I would like to say a special thank you to coach Bill Snyder and his staff. Thank you for your patience and your faith in me. Thank you for never allowing me to settle, compromise, or give anything less than 110%. Thank you for taking the time to teach me – I appreciate all you have done for me and the wisdom you have shared with me. I will never forget the invaluable lessons, both on and off the field.

To my teammates: I could not have made it through these years without you. You have all become my friends, my teachers, my comrades. Through the glories and the losses, the sweat and tears, I will carry these memories with me for the rest of my life.

To the fans of Wildcat football, friends of the Wildcat program, and to each and every supporter of Wildcat football, thank you for the humbling privilege of playing for you. Thank you for your amazing support throughout the years. It has been an honor to be a Wildcat.

I will forever call myself a Wildcat and carry it with respect, admiration, and pride.

All my best, Byron Pringle