Boise State inside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch announced that he will skip his final season of eligibility in order declare for the NFL Draft (Twitter link).

“It has been the honor of my life to play for the team I always grew up following. I would have given anything to have had this opportunity,” Vander Esch wrote. “Because my love for Boise State runs so deep, this was the most difficult decision of my life. I feel now is the best time for me to pursue another childhood dream – playing in the National Football League.”

Vander Esch broke out in 2017 with an eye-popping 141 tackles, which is the most that any Boise State player has had in an individual season since 1988.