Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya won't return for senior season

Miami's all-time career passing yards leader declares for NFL Draft

Brad Kaaya is leaving Miami to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Brad Kaaya is leaving Miami to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya announced Monday that he won't return to school next season.

The school's all-time career passing yards leader plans to skip his senior season and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Kaaya has started 38 games at Miami since stepping foot on the Coral Gables campus in 2014.

The California native threw 69 career touchdown passes, which ranks third in team history, and he's the only Miami quarterback to surpass 3,000 passing yards in three straight seasons. He amassed 9,968 yards and 720 completions in his career.

"Attending a university this far from home wasn't the easiest transition initially, but this program provided me a home away from home ever since my arrival in 2014," Kaaya said in a statement released by the school. "Since then, I have registered as a resident of Florida and am proud to call Miami my long-term home."

Kaaya called the decision to forgo his final season one of the toughest decisions of his life, but he said he's confident that the Hurricanes "will have the platform and the resources around them" to bring another championship to Miami, no matter who is under center.

"I want to personally thank Brad for all that he's done for the University of Miami," head coach Mark Richt said in a statement. "He has been a blessing to the program and I know he's going to have a wonderful professional career."

Kaaya had one of his best career performances in Miami's 31-14 victory against No. 14 West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Kaaya completed 24 of 34 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns.

As a junior in 2016, Kaaya set single-season career highs in completions (261), yards (3,532) an touchdowns (27). The 2014 ACC rookie of the year threw 14 touchdown passes and had just one interception in his final five games with the Hurricanes.

"Miami will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I am proud to say that I will always be a Miami Hurricane," Kaaya said.

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