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Arizona State Linebacker Darien Butler Declares for NFL Draft; Will Skip Las Vegas Bowl

Arizona State linebacker Darien Butler announced on Friday his intentions of skipping the Las Vegas bowl to begin preparations for the upcoming NFL Draft.
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On Friday, Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Darien Butler announced via Twitter his decision to enter the NFL Draft in April. 

Less than a week until the Sun Devils play in the Las Vegas Bowl, Butler's post indicates he will be skipping the bowl game in favor of keeping himself healthy for key NFL Draft events such as offseason preparation/training, the Scouting Combine, Arizona State's Pro Day and more. 

Butler, a senior linebacker who could have returned for another season at Arizona State thanks to the 2020 COVID year, now officially departs the program after playing 40 games in Tempe. 

During that time, Butler propelled himself to be one of the best linebackers in the Pac-12 conference after totaling 243 tackles in his career, seven defended passes, four sacks, four fumbles recovered, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. 

Butler becomes the most recent Arizona State player to opt out of the Las Vegas Bowl, as the Sun Devils have also lost Rachaad White, Jack Jones and Chase Lucas to the draft. 

Butler, a captain for the Sun Devils, brought home numerous honors and recognition including the team's Mike Haynes Defensive MVP Award while also being nominated as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, annually awarded to the nation's top linebacker. 

Butler's abilities in both run support and pass coverage earned him regular playing time on every down, as his sideline-to-sideline range will be difficult to replicate for the Sun Devils moving forward. 

Arizona State takes on Wisconsin in the Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 30 at Allegiant Stadium.