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9 MINUS 5 DAYS TO 2017 KICKOFF: Byron Pringle

In which BracketCat counts down the ninth day until the 2017 kickoff with a profile of wide receiver Byron Pringle.

#9 Byron Pringle
Texas A&M fans are probably just as excited about the prospect of never again facing Byron Pringle (9) as K-State fans are for his upcoming junior season.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Goal No. 9: ELIMINATE MISTAKES. Don’t beat yourself.

#9 Byron Pringle

True Junior | 6-2 | 205 lbs. | Tampa, Florida
Byron Pringle
Byron Pringle
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Previous College: Butler Community College
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Byron Pringle (b. Nov. 17, 1993) is a dynamic wide receiver who started every game in 2016 at wide receiver, in addition to handling a majority of the kickoff return duties.

He will continue to improve in both disciplines as a junior and enters 2017 ranked third in school history in career kickoff return average, while he is 187 yards shy of entering the top-10 list for career kickoff return yards and 363 receiving yards away from becoming the school’s 30th career 1,000-yard receiver.

Pringle, who earned preseason All-Big 12 honors from Phil Steele last year, was the breakout star of the 2016 spring game, posting more all-purpose yardage than any other Wildcat with nine catches for 163 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown from Joe Hubener, and a 30-yard kick return for the Purple team.

When the season arrived, he started all 13 games at receiver, leading the team with 631 yards and four touchdowns on 39 catches, and returned 23 kickoffs for 659 yards and one touchdown as he earned first-team All-Big 12 honors as a kick returner from the league’s coaches.

It marked the 11th straight year a K-State returner has earned all-conference accolades, including the sixth time in the last eight years that a returner has been named to the first team.

Pringle also picked up honorable mention accolades as a receiver. He led the Big 12 and ranked seventh nationally with a 28.7-yard kickoff return average, a mark that ranked ninth in school history, while he tied for eighth in the nation in kickoff return touchdowns and finished fifth in K-State history in total kickoff return yards.

Pringle also ranked ninth in the Big 12 in all-purpose yards per game (104.9), including a 116.1-yard mark in league games to finish fourth.

His top game came when he recorded a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown against Texas Tech, making it K-State’s nation-leading 12th-straight season with a kickoff return score, and totaled 159 kickoff return yards against the Red Raiders, the second most in the Big 12 in 2016, as he also earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week accolades.

In 2016, Pringle became the Wildcats’ first community college transfer to total at least 600 receiving yards in his first fall at K-State under head coach Bill Snyder. He tied for third in school history in touchdown receptions among sophomores and ended the year with consecutive 100-yard receiving games — totaling 126 yards at TCU and 107 against Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl — to record the 18th double 100-yard receiving performance in school history.

Pringle’s effort against the Horned Frogs featured an 83-yard touchdown reception — the eighth-longest pass play in school history (since 1969) — and a 79-yard scoring strike against the Aggies — the second-longest pass play in K-State bowl history and tied for 12th overall.

He teamed with Jesse Ertz (170 rushing yards) and Justin Silmon (133 yards) at TCU to give K-State two 100-yard rushers and a 100-yard receiver in the same game for the first time since 2003 (vs. California).

Pringle recorded his first career touchdown reception against Missouri State, a game in which he also had a 43-yard punt return and a 35-yard kickoff return en route to Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He earned a spot on the ESPN All-Big 12 Underclassmen team.

Pringle played under head coach Mike DePue at Robinson High School, where he was a second-team Class 5A All-Florida selection after catching 25 passes for 391 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season. He also earned first-team All-Hillsborough County honors after rushing for 162 yards on 13 carries and two scores, while he also recorded four interceptions and three fumble recoveries on defense.

Pringle returned 11 punts for 204 yards (an 18.5-yard average) and had 394 yards on 11 kickoff returns (35.8 yards per return) while scoring four touchdowns that year, as well.

His return total included a 99-yard touchdown, while he had a 95-yard interception return for a score in a playoff loss to Tampa Jesuit in the regional semifinals. He later participated in the Hillsborough County All-Star Game.

Pringle was voted the player of the game at the inaugural Blue-Gray National High School Classic after he had six catches for 104 yards, 75 kickoff return yards and 10 rushing yards (189 all-purpose) at Raymond James Stadium.

He played one season under head coach Tim Schaffner at Butler Community College, where he was rated the 44th-best community college prospect — including the No. 9 wide receiver — by ESPN. He also was regarded as one of the top 100 community college prospects in the class of 2016 by Rivals and Scout.

Pringle accumulated 28 receptions for 432 yards (15.4 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns en route to second-team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) honors.

His touchdown total was tied for 11th nationally.

Pringle recorded a season-long 72-yard touchdown against Iowa Central, while he also had six receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns two weeks later at Coffeyville.

He ended his Butler career on a high note by catching four passes — including three touchdown receptions — and totaling 100 yards at Ellsworth.

Pringle also excelled in kick returns, averaging 44.3 yards on three returns, featuring a 93-yard touchdown return against Iowa Central.

He helped the Grizzlies to win the KJCCC and finish fifth in the final National Junior College Athletic Association poll with a 9-2 record.