Miami QB Kaaya declares for the pros


Junior quarterback Brad Kaaya announced Monday that he has elected to forgo his senior season at the University of Miami and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Kaaya started every game during the 2016 season and was a mainstay for the Hurricanes under center since stepping on campus in 2014 as a freshman. During his three seasons at Miami, Kaaya started 38 games and became the school’s all-time career leader in passing yards (9,968), completions (720) and attempts (1,188).

“While I am looking forward to pursuing my future endeavors, I am going to miss our fans, media, students, administrators, coaches, families, and most importantly my teammates, who were with me through the good times and the tough times,” Kaaya said.

“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. Since then I have registered as a resident of Florida and am proud to call Miami my long-term home. I plan to be involved with the University of Miami moving forward as I pursue my degree in communications. I also will give back to this university and South Florida community, two places that had such a positive impact on my life. I look forward to watching Coach Richt and his staff, and our team do even bigger and better things for years to come.

“This was one of the toughest decisions of my life, however, I have zero worries that The U will indeed be back. No matter who is under center next season, I have no doubt in my mind they will have the platform and the resources around them to bring a major championship back to Coral Gables. Miami will forever hold a special place in my heart and I am proud to say that I will always be a Miami Hurricane.”

The Los Angeles native threw 69 career touchdown passes, which ranks third in program history, and his 60.6 percent career completion percentage also ranks third on UM’s all-time list. In addition, he is the only quarterback in Miami history to surpass 3,000 yards through the air in three straight seasons.

“Brad informed me of his intention to declare for the NFL draft,” said head coach Mark Richt. “I want to personally thank Brad for all that he’s done for the University of Miami. He has been a blessing to the program and I know he’s going to have a wonderful professional career. I want to wish him the very best!”

During his junior season, Kaaya posted single-season career highs in completions (261), attempts (387), yards (3,532) and touchdowns (27).

Over the final five games of his collegiate career, Kaaya threw 14 touchdown passes and had just one interception.

In his final game as a Hurricane, Kaaya led Miami to a 31-14 victory over West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl as he went 24-of-34 for 282 yards and four touchdown passes. His four touchdown passes tied a Miami bowl record.

“On behalf of University of Miami Athletics I want to thank Brad for the wonderful job he did representing our program on the field, in the classroom and in the community,” said Miami Athletics Director Blake James. “We wish him the very best as he starts the next chapter of his football career.”

Kaaya was a two-time All-ACC selection and was named the 2014 ACC Rookie of the Year. In the classroom, Kaaya earned CoSIDA Academic All-District team honors this past season.

The 2017 NFL Draft will take place on April 27-29 in Philadelphia.