For the other side of this point-counterpoint, check out Cam Underwood’s piece on why Brad Kaaya should stay for his senior year:
Unfinished business: why #Canes QB Brad Kaaya should come back for his senior year #TheU https://t.co/36hU3CtzYL pic.twitter.com/aKKbDxMrIO— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) December 30, 2016
What more can Brad Kaaya really do if he returns for another season. Already the all-time leader in attempts (1,188), completions (720) and passing yards (9,968). Kaaya led Miami to its first bowl win in over a decade. And yet plenty are advocating for him to return for another year?
I get it. Draft analyst don't see you as being anything more than "just a guy". Surpassing expectations has been a feat that Brad Kaaya has accomplished time and again since he committed to The U. There weren't too many that had Brad moving from the West Coast, winning a fall competition to be Miami’s starting quarterback, beginning the season as THE “GUY” at THE position. Brad has not let the program or lineage of productivity at QB down in the three seasons he's put together.
In his collegiate career Brad has endured various offensive coordinators, offensive systems and learnt new terminology that would make your eyes gloss over. From his position as a leader and face of the program, Brad has seen guys walk out or get booted from the team. He's the last one that needs a reminder about how much fluctuation there is in the world of college football. Brad’s perseverance helped to provide stability to a program starved for consistency.
Some quarters have been consistent than others, yet that’s all part of the game. In the Russell Athletic Bowl, Brad overcame a hideous 1st quarter to finish the game 24 of 34 for 282 passing yards with 4 touchdowns (could’ve been more if Miami wanted to throw late).
You stood in the pocket and paid the toll as much as you've celebrated with teammates. You lost a tooth, had your clocked cleaned mercilessly and endured backlash over your support of a failing regime. The cupboards were not bare, yet those in charge had you sipping soup with a fork. You've paid your dues, sacrificed the "me" for "Team" long enough. It's time to worry about you and yours. While you will always be a Cane, you would not be faulted for looking after your family.
For every season you've played you've improved statistically, culminating with a junior season that seen you set career bests in completion (261), attempts (421), completion percentage (62.0), passing yards (3,532), and touchdowns (27).
Brad's been doubted and knocked for a myriad of reasons. With every incompletion comes second-guessing, groans and moans as to whether he should really be the QB for Miami.
They love you when you're up, stomp on ya when you're down.
There are no guarantees in football just as there are none in life. Another year in school will surely benefit others, but will it ultimately improve Brad Kaaya's stock? Will one more year under Mark Richt make you into a 1st round selection in 2018? Will taking an insurance policy out just in case the worst possible scenario goes down really be equivalent to the value you would've had entering the 2017 Draft?
Brad Kaaya now holds the @CanesFootball record for all-time passing yards! #TheU pic.twitter.com/XDGIg68u1x— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 27, 2016
You’ve been told that you can make the throws necessary at the next level. You’re the type of leader that teammates will follow. You’re erratic under pressure, an issue that is understandable given the woes of blocking in front of you (The O-Line thanks you for not throwing them under the Greyhound). Why not hone your play against the blitz on the level where it’s most sophisticated, where you should have a better chance of avoiding the big hit in the pocket with an upgrade of blockers upfront.
Financially speaking, it's not the rookie contract that you look to secure, it's trying to earn that lucrative second contract. It’s humbling to have teams pass you over, let that be the kerosene to your football ambitions. You've proven detractors wrong at each stage of your football career. In a quarterback class that lacks start power, why not continue to embrace another QB competition, this time for your own benefit just as much as your teammates past and current.
Speaking of competition, even with all the negatives involving your game from the season, there is still a lack of depth at the quarterback position who are eligible to enter their names in the hat this spring. Yeah, for every Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Cam Newton you get a RGIII, Johnny Manziel, and EJ Manuel. However, those guys got paid because of the high demand for quarterbacks at the next level. Even if you're not selected in the first round there's still the chance that you wind up being a Derek Carr (2nd rd), Russell Wilson (3rd rd) or Dak Prescott (4th rd) that plays better than their draft positions indicates. Being selected on the second day may be a short-term curse when you don't make that 1st round bank, yet long-term you will get to that all-important second contract sooner than your 1st round peers.
He's a competitor, a leader, a teammate. Kaaya has repped the Canes beyond anyone's expectation. It's always about the U, it's just time for Brad to start reppin for Brad Kaaya.