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Jan. 11, 2006

Charlottesville, Va. – Virginia inside linebacker Kai Parham announced he will forego his final year of collegiate eligibility and enter the NFL Draft this April.

He stepped from the shadows of Darryl Blackstock and Ahmad Brooks to have a breakout season in 2005 and earned first-team All-ACC honors for the first time. Playing with first-time starters for much of the season, Parham also undertook the role of teacher, but he did not let that affect his play. He ranked fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in tackling with a team-leading 8.6 average. His team-leading nine quarterback sacks are second in ACC history by an inside linebacker. He led the team with 15 tackles for loss.

A three-year starter, he was fourth on the team in tackling as a redshirt freshman in 2003 and was second behind Brooks in 2004. Parham is ranked 19th in school history with 272 career tackles and eighth with 33 tackles for loss.

“We want to wish Kai the best in his pursuit of a career in professional football,” said head coach Al Groh. “He had a tremendous season for us this year which he capped off with a fine effort in our bowl victory. I’m equally proud of Kai’s commitment to his academic goals. To complete his undergraduate studies ahead of schedule is quite an accomplishment.”

Parham received his degree in African-American Studies last month, a semester early.

Overall, Parham is the seventh Virginia player to turn pro with eligibility remaining. Other Cavaliers to enter the NFL draft with eligibility remaining include Marcus Wilson (1989), Herman Moore (1990), Ronde Barber (1996), Tavon Mason (2001), Heath Miller (2004) and Darryl Blackstock (2001).

His career statistics are below.

Year G Plys S A Tot. Avg. TFL QBS FR FC PBU Int QBH
2003 13 601 54 35 89 6.8 7-13 1-2 1 0 2 0 8
2004 12 537 32 48 80 6.7 11-40 2-16 1 2 0 0 3
2005 12 828 57* 46* 103* 8.6 15-69* 9-54* 0 2 1 0 10
Career 37 1966 143 129 272 7.4 33-122 12-72 2 4 3 0 21

* led team

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