ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Brad Kaaya rewrote the Miami record book in three years, and is off to a bigger challenge.
The Hurricanes’ quarterback is no longer the Hurricanes’ quarterback, after announcing Monday night he is skipping his senior season and entering the NFL draft.
Kaaya leaves Miami as the school’s career leader with 9,968 yards passing, 720 completions and 1,188 attempts. His four scoring passes in Wednesday’s 31-14 win over West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl tied a Miami postseason record, and gave him 69 in his career — third in school history behind Ken Dorsey’s 86 and Jacory Harris’ 70.
Kaaya deliberated over the decision for weeks, relying on input from family, longtime mentors and the NFL draft advisory committee before settling on the choice to go pro.
Dorsey was the last Miami quarterback to get drafted, and that was as a seventh-rounder in 2003. The last Miami quarterback to get taken before the seventh round was Craig Erickson, a fourth-rounder in 1992.
Kaaya hopes to change that.
He has been the starting quarterback at Miami from his very first game, winning the job only a couple months after getting to campus in 2014 as a true freshman. Miami was one of the very first schools to make a serious impression on Kaaya in the recruiting process, and it was more than football coaches in Coral Gables who saw something special in him.
“He’s the real thing,” former university president Donna Shalala said in 2014, before Kaaya was even named the starter — or taken a single snap for the Hurricanes. “Excellent young man, wonderful student, an excellent student.”
She was right.
In addition to his football exploits, Kaaya was tapped into Miami’s “Iron Arrow” honor society earlier this year. It is the highest honor Miami can award, and takes into account love for the school along with character, leadership, scholarship and humility.
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