At 22 years old, most college football players have either hung up their cleats, moved on to the NFL, or are preparing for their final season. However, this is not the case for Kansas State wide receiver Byron Pringle who has three season of eligibility left. Pringle was a standout player for Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida from 2009 to 2011. After some early troubles he was suspended for his entire junior season in 2010. He bounced back with a strong senior year in 2011 and had an opportunity to play college football.
He originally signed with Youngstown State in 2012, but after being arrested for robbery in 2013, he lost his chance to play on the team, even though the charges were eventually dropped. Byron then found a new home in El Dorado, Kansas, at Butler Community College, to play for Coach Tim Schaffner. Pringle redshirted for the entire 2014 season for the Butler Grizzlies. Then came the 2015 season where
Byron had the opportunity to finally showcase his talent. He certainly did that, accumulating 28 passes for 432 yards and 9 touchdowns last season. Pringle earned second team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honors. He helped Butler finish 5th in the NJCAA with a 9-2 record. Even ESPN took notice of the 6’2’’, 212 pound receiver, ranking him the 9th wide receiver in the nation for JUCO and a top 50 player overall. More importantly for Byron he stayed out of trouble and focused his attention on the football field. His behavior even earned some praise from his head coach saying how he was never a problem for them and was a great leader for the team.
On the field success for Pringle meant more attention from college coaches around the country. Of course, being one of the best JUCO players in country will naturally draw the attention from the JUCO wizard himself, Bill Snyder. With Pringle playing in the same state as Bill Snyder this normally would just be icing on the cake, right? Wrong. Snyder himself had concerns about Byron, but that would soon change. It helped that Kansas State wide receivers coach Andre Coleman was also the same man who originally recruited Pringle to Youngstown State back in 2012. When Snyder saw how much talent that Pringle had, he knew he was willing to give him a shot. But before Bill could, he first needed to get to know Byron. After meeting, Coach Snyder saw not only the potential Pringle had as a receiver, but as a person as well. He felt that Byron had learned from his mistakes and was ready to take the next step in his life at Kansas State.
Before the 2016 Kansas State spring game, many fans and reporters had questions about the wide receivers. Then on April 23rd something happened. Byron Pringle happened. Pringle not only answered those questions at wide receiver, he answered them convincingly. If people did not know who Byron Pringle was before that game, he was sure stuck in everyone’s mind afterwards. Pringle finished the game with 193 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. The most explosive play of the game was a 73-yard bomb from quarterback Joe Hubener to Pringle, who used his prolific speed to take it to the house. Even when Pringle didn’t have the ball you could tell the defensive backs had to respect his speed and aggression. The wizard himself, Bill Snyder, also praised Byron after the game saying he was glad he took the chance on Pringle. Byron Pringle not only turned the heads of those in attendance, but also those around the Big 12.
There’s no doubt Pringle has the size to be a legitimate wide receiver in the Big 12. Throw in his speed and his aggression to go up and get the ball and he is a total game changer. Even though Kansas State is having a three way quarterback battle between Jesse Ertz, Alex Denton and Joe Hubener it should not be hard to get the ball in Byron’s hands.
I have faith that Bill Snyder and his staff will find creative ways to get Byron Pringle the football. While TCU QB Kenny Hill is the media’s pick to be the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Pringle has the biggest chance to take that award away. At the end of the year this is a guy we will not only be talking about in the Big 12, but nationally as well. Don’t forget the name Byron Pringle, because he will be coming to a Big 12 end zone near you.
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