MANHATTAN — Kansas State receiver Byron Pringle said the Cactus Bowl might be his final college game.

Turns out it was.

After a week of thought, Pringle announced Monday that he will forgo his final season at K-State and make a run at the NFL. At the age of 24, Pringle was the oldest player on K-State’s roster. He has a 2-year old son in Tampa he would like to see more often, and he recently earned an undergraduate degree. Turning pro gives him the opportunity to support his family.

“I am excited to take this next step in my journey to become a better person, to continue learning, maturing and excellinag as a responsible, upstanding citizen,” Pringle wrote in a letter to K-State fans announcing his decision. “I pray I can become not just an honorable representative of the sprot 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.”

Pringle will be difficult for the Wildcats to replace. He has been K-State’s top receiving threat the past two years. As a junior, he caught 30 passes for 762 yards and six touchdowns.

“I would like to say a special thank you to coach Bill Snyder and his staff,” Pringle wrote in his letter. “Thank you for your patience and your faith in me. Thank you for never allowing me to settle, compromise, or give anything elss than 110 percent. 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.”

Pringle came to K-State with an interesting story, and a criminal record.

Snyder was hesitant to offer him a scholarship out of Butler Community College, but he did after meeting him. A K-State success story followed.

Pringle is the second K-State junior to declare early for the NFL Draft in as many days.

Defensive back D.J. Reed made a similar announcement Sunday night.