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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – One of the Miami Hurricanes most consistent defensive players is moving on to the NFL.

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Junior defensive back Artie Burns, who has been through a very trying and emotional year, issued a statement on Monday that declared his intent to enter the 2016 NFL Draft.

“After considering all the options, and looking into my future, I feel it is in my best interest to forego my senior year and declare for the NFL Draft,” he wrote in the statement that was sent to a handful of Canes reporters.

The up-and-down season for Miami paled in comparison to what Burns had to deal with in October when his mother, Dana Smith, died after having a heart attack.

Burns has cited her death as a part of his decision to skip his senior season with the Hurricanes and begin his professional football career.

“Due to my mom sudden passing and my father being incarcerated, I now have custody of my two younger brothers and my son to raise,” the statement reads. “It is my responsibility to be the financial supporter my family needs to continue our day to day lives.

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“Also, playing in the National Football league has always been a dream of mine and I believe the time to pursue this dream is now, I feel I’m mentally and physically ready.”

Burns plans on returning to the university in order to complete his degree.

During the 2015 season Burns led the Hurricanes, and the entire Atlantic Coast Conference, with six interceptions and ranked fifth in the nation in that category.

Burns’ six interceptions are the most by a Miami player since Sean Taylor had 10 during the 2003 season.  He also was the first Canes player since Taylor to have an interception in three consecutive games.

Burns received second-team All-ACC honors from the league’s coaches as well as the ACSMA (Atlantic Coast Sport Media Association) following his impressive season with the Canes.

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