Briley Moore TD Arkansas St Kansas St Football

Kansas State tight end Briley Moore (0) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of a game against Arkansas State on Sept. 12 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Moore announced Saturday he was leaving K-State to enter the NFL draft.

Briley Moore is moving on after one season at Kansas State.

Moore, a tight end who joined K-State as a graduate transfer earlier this year, announced Saturday he would forgo an opportunity to return in 2021 to focus on preparing for the NFL draft.

Like all seniors, Moore had a chance to come back for a sixth season. Earlier this year, the NCAA ruled that all fall athletes, regardless of how many or few games they play this season, would not have this year count against their eligibility given the upheaval induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, Moore announced his decision to head to the pros in a letter posted to his personal Twitter account.

“The past seven months have been absolutely amazing. From the start, the Wildcat Family has embraced and made me feel like I was here my entire career,” Moore wrote. “From the new relationships with the coaching staff, my teammates, the fans, and the community, it was everything I could have hoped for. Even with the adverse circumstances this year has thrown at us, you continued to show love and support. I hope I have had even half of the impact on you as you have had on me.

“I want to say thank you to (head) Coach (Chris) Klieman, (offensive coordinator) Coach (Courtney) Messingham and the rest of the staff for presenting me with the opportunity to become a part of this family. The K-State coaching staff is second to none, and I am blessed to have enjoyed the opportunity to experience the culture that they continue to build. I will carry these experiences from both UNI (Northern Iowa) and K-State with me throughout life.”

Moore concluded the letter by thanking his former coaches and members of his family, including his mother, sister, uncle and fiancée.

“As a father, I owe it to my son to set the foundation of manifesting your dreams through hard work, discipline and faith,” Moore wrote. “God is amazing, and I wouldn’t be where I am without Him.”

K-State ended the regular season 4-6 overall (4-5 Big 12) and on a five-game losing streak. Because of COVID-19 wreaking havoc with schedules across the country, however, the NCAA waived the requirement that teams must have at least six wins for bowl eligibility. This puts the Wildcats in position for a bowl berth in spite of their record.

Moore did not clarify whether he would remain with the program to play in a bowl game should K-State receive a bid.

Moore began his college career at Northern Iowa, where he played from 2016 to 2019. He appeared in 36 games with the Panthers, making 22 starts. He ended his UNI career with totals of 85 receptions, 1,116 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns. Moore played in just one game at UNI before suffering a season-ending injury.

Moore finished this fall with 22 catches for 338 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. The three touchdown receptions tied for the team high (alongside sophomore receiver Malik Knowles), while he ranked second on the team in catches and receiving yardage, behind only freshman running back Deuce Vaughn. Moore produced those numbers despite missing the Iowa State game because of a back injury.

Moore’s top performance at K-State came against Texas Tech on Oct. 3, when he hauled in two passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Sixty-six of those yards came on one play, which was the longest reception by a K-State tight end since Jeron Mastrud had a catch of the same distance in the 2006 Sunflower Showdown versus Kansas.

It was among the best receiving campaigns for a tight end in program history. Moore’s three touchdown receptions tied for fourth most in a season — along with six others — by a Wildcat tight end. Henry Childs had five TDs in 1972, while Kent Dean (1987) and Brian Lojka (1995) had four apiece.

Throughout the season, K-State’s coaching staff praised Moore’s ability. In November, Klieman called Moore “a special talent” worthy of All-Big 12 recognition.

“He moves the chains. He makes the tough catch,” Klieman said Nov. 3. “He can catch a ball on third-and-8 for 5 yards and get 9 and get the first down. He can block the edge at the point of attack. He does so many things. He can flex out. He can be a fullback in the backfield. A hundred percent, he’s a guy who makes our offense so much better because of his versatility.”

He didn’t just let his play do the talking, either.

“The thing that has impressed me with Briley coming into a new situation is his leadership and how he has become a big voice on the football team, not only with the young guys, but with the guys who have been here for four and five years,” Klieman said Oct. 6. “That is sometimes a hard thing to navigate through, and you don’t want to step on peoples’ toes. He is, without question, one of our leaders, not just on the offensive side, but on the entire football team, and that’s because of how he plays and how he conducts himself off the field.”

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