K-State RB Alex Barnes declares for NFL Draft

Kansas State running back Alex Barnes (34) runs the ball to score a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Manhattan, Kan. Kansas State won 21-17. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(WIBW) - New Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman will be missing the Wildcats' most productive offensive player from this past season.

Running back Alex Barnes announced his declaration for the NFL Draft via Twitter on Friday. The junior thanked his teammates, Wildcat fans and former coach Bill Snyder.

"It pains me to leave these guys, but I know that they wouldn't want me to pass up this opportunity to chase my dream of playing professional football," Barnes wrote in his statement.

"I am forever grateful to you for the time that I have spent here," Barnes said of the fans. "You have been nothing but amazing to me and you will always have a special place in my heart."

Barnes led the Big 12 in rushing for 2018, racking up 1,355 yards while also tying for the league lead in touchdowns with 12. He was the most consistent offensive player for K-State this past season and he appreciated the departing Snyder.

"I would like to thank Coach Snyder for his consistency in my time at Kansas State," Barnes said. "His goals and expectations were the same for each and every day of practice or workouts, to see improvement from the previous day. This is a valuable skill that I will continue to use to help me achieve my future goals."

For his career in Manhattan, Barnes leaves with 2,616 yards and 25 rushing touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per carry over three seasons.