NFL Draft 2012: Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict Declares

Vontaze Burfict released a statement Tuesday that he will leave ASU and enter the 2012 draft.

Arizona St. Sun Devils linebacker Vontaze Burfict announced Tuesday that he will skip his senior season and make himself eligible for the NFL draft.

The official announcement, which was part of a statement, followed an announcement on Facebook on Monday night.

"After thoughtful and in-depth discussions with my family, I have decided to skip my final year of eligibility at Arizona State University and make myself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft. I would like to thank every one of my coaches and professors at ASU. I plan to return to ASU and get my degree and I will always support the university and its football program. I cherish the memories and great times I had as a student-athlete at ASU and I hope to make the university proud of my future accomplishments on and off the field."

Burfict had 69 total tackles, 40 solo tackles, five sacks and one interception for the Sun Devils in 2011. In the previous season he garnered 89 tackles.

Burfict has offset a career full of flashes of aggressive and athletic play with moments of immaturity and poor decision-making. However, his talent and ability still makes him one of the most gifted linebacker prospects in the nation.

The preseason All-American candidate was tapped in the most recent 2012 NFL Mock Draft from Todd McShay as a first round pick. McShay currently has Burfict going to the San Diego Chargers with the 22nd overall pick in the draft.

For more on Burfict and the Sun Devils, visit SB Nation's Arizona State blog House of Sparky and SB Nation Arizona.

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