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Canty decides to skip senior season at K-State

January 7, 1997

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

``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 told The Associated Press on Monday.

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 He has an unpublished number in Manhattan.

Wildcat 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, told The Kansas City Star by telephone 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 an AP first-team All-American.

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 post-season individual honors.

Canty was one of several underclassmen whose decisions to declare eligibility for the NFL draft were revealed on Monday. Ohio State offensive lineman Orlando Pace and defensive back Shawn Springs, both juniors, announced they would enter the NFL draft. Darnell Autry, Northwestern’s career rushing leader, also said he would skip his senior season to become eligible for the draft.

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