"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.
Kaaya, a junior, was considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the college game entering the season. However, an NFC personnel executive expressed concern in October about Kaaya's athleticism, and called him an average quarterback who needs a clean pocket to throw from. Before the season, after evaluating three game tapes from Kaaya's sophomore year, NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah had a similar takeaway from Kaaya's play, noting that he struggled under pressure.
College underclassmen face a Jan. 16 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility.
Kaaya (6-feet-4, 215 pounds) completed 237 of 387 passes for 3,250 yards, 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the regular season. Under a new coaching staff with a new offensive system, however, he was inconsistent at times for a Hurricanes team that finished 8-4. Kaaya's statistical production has been remarkably consistent over his three years as a starter, passing for more than 3,000 yards each season.
He plans to enter what is considered to be a shallow pool of draft prospects at his position for 2017.