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Canty decides to skip senior season at K-State to go pro

January 7, 1997

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Chris Canty, a two-time All-America cornerback, has decided to skip his senior season at Kansas State to enter the NFL draft.

``I talked to his mother earlier today, and she told me that over the weekend they had mailed off their forms to the NFL saying that Chris would make himself available for the draft,″ Kansas State sports information director Kent Brown said Monday.

Canty could not be reached for comment. He has an unpublished number in Manhattan.

Wildcats coach Bill Snyder was in Orlando, Fla., on Monday, where he went to attend a coaches conference after the Wildcats’ New Year’s Day loss to Brigham Young in the Cotton Bowl, Brown said.

Canty, 20, is Kansas State’s first underclassman to make himself eligible for the NFL draft since Snyder became coach in 1989.

His mother, Sylvia Canty, said from Houston that her son determined he would be a likely first-round pick if he entered the NFL draft as a junior. She said the family was in the process of finding an agent.

Snyder, Canty and Canty’s mother spoke by phone on Friday, and the decision for Canty to enter the draft was made sometime late Friday or early Saturday, Brown said.

Canty’s mother mailed the requisite forms to the NFL sometime Saturday, Brown said.

Initially, Canty had said he would make his plans known after the Cotton Bowl, but after the game he deferred, saying he hadn’t had the opportunity to discuss the matter fully with his mother.

``He agonized over what he wanted to do,″ Sylvia Canty said. ``I wanted him to make a good decision based on good information.″

The decision to forego his senior season ends one of the greatest careers in Kansas State history. Canty was the only Kansas State sophomore ever named first-team All-America by The Associated Press.

This year, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder finished second to Nebraska’s Grant Wistrom as AP Big 12 defensive player of the year, and might be the nation’s best two-way player.

In the regular season, he caught five passes for 78 yards as a wide receiver, averaged almost 30 yards per kickoff return and more than 10 yards on punt returns.

His five regular-season interceptions tied him for the Big 12 lead.

On Dec. 9, Canty was arrested on campus for suspicion of driving under the influence and pleaded innocent. He immediately removed himself from consideration for all postseason individual honors, including the Jim Thorpe award, the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Year award and the Maxwell Defensive Player of the Year award.

Canty’s departure means the Wildcats must retool their entire secondary, which also included senior cornerback Joe Gordon and senior safeties Mario Smith and Clyde Johnson.

There is no shortage of candidates at Kansas State, which finished 9-3 and No. 17 in The Associated Press poll. Redshirt freshman Lamar Chapman and junior Demetric Denmark each received extensive playing time this season because of an injury to Gordon.

Junior Monty Spiller and four freshmen _ Lin Dotson, David Allen, Adrian Beard and Dyshod Carter _ also figure to be in the mix when spring drills begin. Dotson played this season. The other three redshirted.

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