A Huge Win for Miami, But Will Kaaya be Back?

Miami is Jacked About Bowl Win, But Will Kaaya Return?

For the Miami Hurricanes the Russell Athletic Bowl was not just another bowl game, it was a chance to show that the Canes are back and should be taken serious as a top 25 team in the nation. It was also a chance for them to come full circle, as the Russell Athletic Bowl was the first bowl they played in following their bowl ban in 2013. The Hurricanes lost to Louisville 36-9 that year and it has left a bad taste for this year’s senior class ever since.

For first year head coach, Mark Richt, the game was extra special as it was an opportunity to win at his alma mater. He also viewed the game as a learning experience for his players. While they would have liked to have been playing in a more prestigious game they have to keep a positive attitude and keep working hard no matter which game they are playing in.

As far as coaching up his star quarterback, Richt’s approach was to just have Kaaya let it rip. Richt knows how accurate Kaaya can be, so he knew he would work himself out of an early funk. That coaching philosophy paid off for Richt as Kaaya just seemed to get better as the game wore on.

For Miami’s starting quarterback the huge question everyone wants to know is, was this Brad Kaaya’s last game with the Hurricanes or will he return for his senior season. Kaaya says that he remains undecided on his future and has a lot of soul searching to do in the coming days. Right now Kayya has a 2nd-4th round grade if he were to enter the NFL Draft. If he were to stay at Miami, he would like become a 1st round pick with another year of seasoning. Already Kaaya has been linked to several NFL teams, who have been scouting him heavily this season.

When asked if he had anything left to do at the collegiate ranks Kaaya says that he still dreams of winning a national championship at Miami. Kaaya also said that is how his team prepared for the Russell Athletic Bowl as if it were the National Championship Game. He went on to say how the Canes had been watching tape and studying West Virginia for weeks leading up to the bowl game. Kaaya was quick to add that he could not imagine sitting out a bowl game, like so many top draft prospects have been doing this year.

For now, it is just a matter of playing the waiting game to see if Kaaya will turn pro, or if he will return to lead an up and coming Hurricanes squad next season. If I had to guess I think Kaaya will turn pro, I just know how much his shaky start in the Russell Athletic Bowl will hurt his draft stock. That could ultimately determine if we see him return to Miami or not.

Kip Michalak is a former 3-sport collegiate athlete who has been covering the NBA as an Orlando Magic Insider for the past 3 seasons. Kip has also covered high school sports in Tampa Bay for 5 years. In addition to his basketball reporting Kip has covered a handful of major sporting events, which include: 2015, 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final 2016 NCAA Frozen Four 2018 NHL All Star Game 2016-2020 Outback Bowls