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ASU Football: Linebacker Darien Butler declares for the NFL Draft

The leader moving into the next level

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State defense will lose its leader. Linebacker Darien Butler announced on Thursday that he will declare for the NFL Draft and forego his last available year of eligibility.

Butler emerged as a starter on the Sun Devil defense as a freshman back in 2018, and never let go of that spot. Named the first true sophomore captain in ASU program history, the linebacker embraced the leader role for three years.

Coming into the 2021 season, Butler clearly lost weight and was in better shape. He had a very good year as he finished tied for the team lead in tackles for a loss (8.5) as well as 68 total tackles and three interceptions.

As a four-year starter, Butler will finish his career with 243 tackles, 24.5 which for went for a loss in his 40-game career as a Sun Devil.

TheDraftNetwork’s Mock Draft Machine currently ranks Butler as the 364th overall prospect.