Boise State's Leighton Vander Esch declares for the NFL Draft

BOISE, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) "I don't know, I'll just weigh my options and see what comes from there," Boise State redshirt junior linebacker Leighton Vander Esch on whether or not he'll return for his senior year at BSU. He made that comment five days ago at the Las Vegas Bowl.

I know many Bronco fans want to see Leighton Vander Esch come back. Now he's made up his mind.

But the redshirt junior tweeted Thursday that he's declaring for the NFL Draft, forgoing his final year of school.

He shined this season, earning Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Mountain West Conference Championship Defensive Player of the Game and a member of the Phil Steele All-America Fourth Team.

The Riggins native said, "everything this program is about is in my blood and it will be forever. 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 of me to pursue another childhood dream, playing in the National Football League."

The Salmon River High School graduate proves that even though you play for a small school, or at the eight–man level, hard work and talent will get you far.

He also initially walked on at BSU.

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