NEW YORK — This wasn't how Daniel Thomas envisioned his Kansas State career ending. But it was hard for the senior running back to be too disappointed in what he accomplished in two seasons.
After running for 90 yards and three touchdowns during a 36-34 loss to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday at Yankee Stadium, Thomas moved his career rushing total to 2,850, making him the second-leading rusher in K-State history.
Only Darren Sproles, who ran for 4,979 yards in four seasons, did more.
"I ended things on a pretty good note," Thomas said.
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Looking back, he also rated K-State's year as a success.
"It was a long season," he said. "To end it this way is disappointing, but I'm still proud of the way we played throughout the year. A lot of people didn't expect us to make it to a bowl game. We're not satisfied just by being here, but it was a great opportunity."
From here, Thomas said he will go to Miami in the next few weeks, spend time with his family and begin preparing himself to play in the Senior Bowl and participate in the NFL Combine after that.
He is expected to play next year in the NFL, and came into the season as a projected high draft pick, according to most experts. Following a handful of disappointing games this season, when opponents stacked defenders between the tackles against him and forced K-State to throw the ball, his stock may no longer be that high.
But he thinks a positive future is in front of him.
"I hope so," Thomas said. "I've just got to work at it. If I train hard enough, and run a good-enough time, I think everything will work out."
As for the Wildcats' future, he thinks they are looking good, too. Especially at the halfback position.
"I think they'll be real good," Thomas said. "They've got a stable of running backs. Bryce Brown is real good. I don't think there will be a dropoff in the running game at all."