Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota had until Thursday to decide whether he would play another year at the helm of the Ducks offense or enter into the 2015 NFL Draft. But it looks as though we don’t have to wait that long for his final decision.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported Wednesday that multiple sources, both league and school affiliated, confirm that the Heisman Trophy winner is “foregoing his senior season with the Ducks” and will be entering the 2015 NFL draft.
Even with his football prowess and impressive season, it was unclear as to whether Mariota would choose to turn pro after the 2014-2015 season came to a close. While Mariota has already completed his degree at UO, there was no “for sure” that he would leave to be part of this year’s draft class or stay at Oregon for another season. The 42-20 loss that the Ducks sustained against Ohio State in the inaugural CFB Playoff Championship earlier this week was thought to be a heavy factor in Mariota’s decision-making, being that the defeat might have encouraged him to stay another season and make another push for a title.
The Honolulu, Hawaii native threw at least one touchdown pass in all 41 games he has started in his college career, the second-longest streak in NCAAF history, per Mortensen. Mariota set a Pac-12 Conference record this past season 58 touchdowns — 42 passing TDs, 15 on the run and one catch. He was named the AP Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Player of the Year in addition to his Heisman win and other accolades.
Mariota is ranked by many as the top prospect in the upcoming draft class and is projected to be one of the first — if not the first overall — names plucked from the board this year.
The first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is scheduled to start on Thursday, April 30.
*Section Photo credit to Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Tommy Gilligan, USA Today Sports