Blake Lynch has suited up for Kansas State’s football team for the final time.
Lynch, the Wildcats’ starting placekicker the past three seasons, announced Sunday he would forgo an extra season of eligibility to focus on preparing for this year’s NFL draft.
“The first day I kicked my sophomore year at Goddard Eisenhower High School, I set a goal to play football at Kansas State,” Lynch wrote in a letter posted to his personal Twitter account. “It has been a lifelong dream come true to wear the Powercat logo and kick for the Cats the past three years. My time at Kansas State has been an unbelievable experience full of memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
“After many months of conversations and reflecting, I have declared to forego my extra year of eligibility and declare for the 2021 NFL draft. I would like to thank (head) Coach (Chris) Klieman, (former head) Coach (Bill) Snyder, Sean Snyder, my teammates, and the entire football staff for supporting me over the last six years and pushing me to not only be a better football player but a better man. Last but not least, I would like to thank Wildcat nation for making this university the happiest place on Earth.”
Though Lynch only made 12 of his 17 field goal attempts this fall, he leaves Manhattan as one of the more decorated kickers in the Wildcats’ history.
He converted on 45 of his 54 field goal attempts as a Wildcat, a success rate of 83.3%. That’s the second-best mark in K-State’s annals, behind only his predecessor, Matthew McCrane, who nailed 86.4% (57-for-66) of his attempts. Lynch connected on 90.5% (19 of 21) of his field goals in 2019, the third-best single-season showing by a Wildcat placekicker.
He made 45 field goals in his career, third most among K-State kickers and trailing only McCrane (57) and Martin Gramatica (54); Lynch’s 95 point-after touchdowns rank eighth.
Lynch’s 230 points (45 field goals, 95 PATs) puts him fifth among the Wildcats’ all-time kickers, one point ahead of Anthony Cantele’s 229 from 2010 to 2012, and behind Gramatica (349 from 1994-95 and 1997-98), McCrane (304 from 2014 to 2017), Joe Rheem (291 from 2001 to 2004) and Jamie Rheem (252 from 1996-97 and 1999-2000).
Lynch’s career point total is the ninth most by a K-State player, regardless of position.
He was an All-Big 12 honorable mention selection by the league’s coaches each of the last two seasons.
Lynch, a fifth-year senior, had the opportunity to return for a sixth season with the Wildcats in 2021, as the NCAA froze the eligibility clock for all players during the 2020 campaign, in effect making this fall a “free year” as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Lynch isn’t the first notable Wildcat to decline the chance to come back. He joins running back Harry Trotter, tight end Briley Moore, linebacker Justin Hughes and defensive back AJ Parker.
Quarterback Skylar Thompson, defensive lineman Bronson “Boom” Massie and defensive back Jahron McPherson, however, aren’t letting the opportunity go to waste, as all are returning for another season with K-State in 2021.