ASU LB Vontaze Burfict declares for NFL draft

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict says he'll skip his senior season and make himself eligible for the NFL draft.

Burfict made the announcement Tuesday in a one-paragraph statement. He thanked his coaches and professors and added that he plans to return to school in the future to get his degree.

The 6-foot-3 Burfict was the Sun Devils' second-leading tackler this season with 69, including seven for losses. He also had an interception and fumble recovery.

But Burfict was supposed to be one of the Pac-12's most dominant defensive players this year and coach Dennis Erickson described the linebacker's season as "average."

As a sophomore, Burfict led the team in tackles with 90 and was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection. In 2009, he was the Pac-10's Defensive Freshman of the Year.