Miami will need another quarterback for next season. Following a convincing win in the Russell Athletic Bowl, the first bowl victory for Miami since 2006, Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya has decided to move on to the NFL.
Kaaya, who was noncommittal on his decision prior to the bowl game and in the interviews that followed, took a total of five days to come to his decision. In a statement in which he prepared to announce his decision, he thanked Miami and the South Florida community for all it had done for him.
The statement was released on the Hurricanes’ official website.
“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 plan on giving back to this university and the 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.”
Kaaya’s decision to declare is a risky one.
Prior to the start of the season, the narrative ebbed between Kaaya or Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson being taken as the first quarterbacks in the draft. That changed, as Kaaya struggled early in the season, and he might now find himself being taken in the middle rounds.
Kaaya will need a strong showing in all of his showcase appearances to improve his stock. With a strong arm and experience in a pro-style offense, he could be a steal for a team in the middle rounds, and potentially the franchise quarterback for the team lucky enough to snag him.
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