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Big 12’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year leaves Kansas for NFL

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Dorance Armstrong didn’t live up to the preseason hype, but that’s not stopping him from taking his game to the next level.

As all of the cool potential draftees are doing these days, Armstrong took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to leave Kansas with eligibility remaining in order to enter the April draft. The defensive end said he came to his decision “[a]fter weeks of praying and consideration with my family.”

Coming off a season in which he was first-team all-conference, Armstrong was tabbed by the media as the Big 12’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year back in July. While he didn’t post Player-of-the-Year numbers, he was productive.

In 12 games, Armstrong was credited with nine tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. The year before, those numbers were 20 and 10.  The 6-4, 246-pound end started 29 straight games to end his Jayhawks career.

Most notably ahead of one of the last of those starts, Armstrong was one of three KU players stripped of their captaincy for their roles in the Baker Mayfield pregame handshake snub. All three were also reprimanded by the Big 12.

Iowa State resricts QB Jacob Park from transferring to Iowa, two FCS schools

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Jacob Park has been granted permission to leave Iowa State, but that permission will come with some strings attached.

A little over two weeks ago, Park announced that he would be transferring from Iowa State. That development came two months after Park took a sudden leave of absence due to what were described as “unspecified medical concerns.” Park subsequently confirmed that he was facing a one-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana prior to his sabbatical.

Wednesday, Park took to Twitter once again to reveal that he has been given a release from his ISU scholarship. However, the release comes with restrictions as the quarterback will not be permitted to transfer to another Big 12 school, Iowa and a pair of FCS programs — Northern Iowa and Drake.

Northern Iowa is next on ISU’s schedule in 2019; 2018 will be Park’s final season of eligibility.  Drake is not on any of ISU’s future non-conference schedules. The “Institutions on future schedules” exception would also preclude Park from signing with South Dakota State and Akron as ISU will face them in 2018.

Park had started the first four games of the 2017 season for the Cyclones in his second year in Ames. In his first season at ISU, he became the full-time starter in the latter portion of the 2016 season. During his time with the Cyclones, he completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 2,971 yards, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran for a pair of touchdowns in that span.

With this move, Park will be working on his fourth collegiate program in less than four years.

A four-star member of Georgia’s 2014 recruiting class, Park was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of South Carolina; and the No. 229 player overall according to Rivals.com. Park worked mainly with the scout team during his only season with the Bulldogs.

In mid-June of 2015, it was confirmed that Park would be transferring from Georgia. After spending the 2015 season at the junior college level, Park transferred to ISU in February of 2016.

Brother of Chase Harrell shot, killed in front of the Kansas WR

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Tragedy has struck the Kansas football program.

According to the Houston Chronicle, 23-year-old Cole Harrell was shot and killed early Sunday morning after a verbal argument at a house party in Summerwood, Tex., turned violent. Harrell is the brother of Chase Harrell, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver at Kansas.

The Lawrence Journal-World reported that Harrell witnessed his older brother being shot. The incident occurred at what was described as a small gathering of seven or eight friends, another brother, Corbin Harrell, told the Chronicle.

From the newspaper’s report:

At some point, another man showed up, unhappy after receiving a call from one of the women attending the festivities, Corbin said.

The man started a dispute with four other party-goers. That escalated into a brawl, which moved outside into the backyard, where some of the men pulled out guns, according to police.

Cole Harrell tried grabbing the man’s weapon, but instead it went off, killing the former high school athlete.

One police investigator told the paper “[w]e’re not sure if it was some kind of accidental discharge or if somebody pulled the trigger.” 20-year-old Isaiah Kain Salas-Martinez has been arrested in connection to the death of Cole Harrell, who was the father of a five-year-old son.

It’s alleged that Salas-Martinez showed up at the gathering armed with a shotgun and a handgun, triggering the dispute that ended in tragedy.

Report: Florida State TE Mavin Saunders pursuing graduate transfer to Kansas

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Florida State tight end Mavin Saunders will pursue a graduate transfer to Kansas, according to a report from Bud Elliott of SBNation.

Saunders did not record a statistic as a redshirt junior in 2017. He caught 10 passes for 182 yards in 12 appearances in 2016, and made two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2015.

A native of the Bahamas, Saunders graduated from The Kinkaid School in Houston before enrolling at Florida State. The Jayhawks are losing their top tight end from the 2017 team. Senior Ben Johnson finished second on the club with 30 receptions for 363 yards and one touchdown this fall. He was the only tight end to catch a pass this season.

Minnesota assistant Ed Warinner tweets he’s ‘never been contacted’ about Kent State job

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You just have to love the vagaries of the annual coaching rumor mill.

The offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota, Ed Warinner has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Paul Haynes as the head coach at Kent State.  In fact, just yesterday, the former Ohio State and Notre Dame assistant had been labeled as a “strong candidate” for the opening.

Thursday night, however, FootballScoop.com tweeted that Warinner is no longer a candidate.

Less than 20 minutes after that tweet, Warinner took to his personal Twitter to confirm he is not only not a candidate for the job but claimed that he has “never been contacted by anyone involved with the school.” Left unsaid is whether those representing or associated with him had been in contact with the university.

Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen (HERE) and Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis (HERE) are the latest names du jour connected to the opening at the MAC school.

Kent State’s one of two jobs at the FBS level that remain open, although the other, Louisiana, could be closed in short order.