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Shane Ray declares for the NFL draft

The only way to hold up Shane Ray is delay his flight. That still did not prevent him from doing what he wanted.

As expected, the Mizzou junior defensive lineman announced on Wednesday he is declaring for the NFL draft. Ray, a consensus first-team All-American, is viewed as a first round pick by many NFL draft analysts.

“I will move on to the NFL,” Shane Ray said in his announcement. “I will declare.”

The Mizzou junior was suppose to announce on Tuesday, but he was stuck in Boston due to inclement weather. He did not arrive in Kansas City until Tuesday night before traveling to Columbia Wednesday morning.

Ray earned 14.5 sacks this season, a single season record at Missouri. He is the first Mizzou junior to earn first-team All-American honors since Justin Smith, who accomplished that feat in 2000. Ray also finished the year with 22.5 tackles for loss and 65 total tackles.

“The word ‘can’t’ isn’t in his vocabulary,” said defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski. “We’re very proud of him. He set a standard this year that will be hard to match.”

The Kansas City (Mo.) native is the third straight junior defensive lineman from Mizzou to declare. Sheldon Richardson (2012) and Kony Ealy (2013) made the jump and were selected in the first and second rounds respectively.

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