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Marcus Mariota returning to Oregon in 2014

Marcus Mariota AP

It’s a great day to be a Duck.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and center Hroniss Grasu have decided to return to school for the 2014 season rather than go pro, the school announced on Tuesday.

Mariota, a redshirt sophomore, and Grasu, a redshirt junior, announced their intentions a day after earning all-Pac-12 accolades from the conference’s head coaches for the second straight year.

“It is an honor to be a student at the University of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football field alongside my teammates,” said Mariota. “I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University.”

This season, Mariota threw for 3,412 yards and 30 touchdowns and rushed for 582 and nine scores. He was the Heisman front runner for a good chunk of the season until his team lost games against Stanford and Arizona in November. He’ll be considered one of the front runner for the award next year as well.

Grasu is already a three-year starter and will once again anchor a solid Duck line in 2014.

“The University of Oregon is a special place and I’m extremely happy to be returning for my senior year,” Grasu said. “To be a student-athlete in this community is an honor and an experience I’ll continue to cherish with my teammates.”

With these two players returning next season, it all but assures that the Ducks will once again be in the national title conversation. If they had gone pro, head coach Mark Helfrich would’ve been faced with a major rebuilding effort in his second season. Now, the transition will be much easier.

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21 Responses to “Marcus Mariota returning to Oregon in 2014”
  1. gquesen says: Dec 3, 2013 5:43 PM

    Cue the full grown men knocking the life decision of a 20 year old. Some people just won’t be able to accept the fact he left money on the table.

  2. upperdecker19 says: Dec 3, 2013 5:47 PM

    With Chip Kelly committing to Nick Foles as a starter for the next 1000 years, this may be a good move for Marcus ….big picture.

  3. bowwserr says: Dec 3, 2013 6:29 PM

    Good to hear that a potentially elite NFL QB prospect isn’t bolting at the first possible chance he gets. When Mariota finally does go to the NFL, there should be no questions about his readiness. Here’s hoping for an awesome, injury free year for both these guys next season. Would love nothing more than to see Oregon get destroyed by my Longhorns in next years BCS Championship ;)

    Hook em!

  4. halbert53 says: Dec 3, 2013 6:35 PM

    I think this is good decision for two main reasons since he is a QB. Unlike years ago when NFL QBs were groomed 2-3 years before starting, economics now shoves young QBs on the field ready or not so more college experience is valuable. Secondly it will allow a better transition for eventual successor at QB.

  5. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 3, 2013 6:55 PM

    Johnny Football just heard a cash register bell….

    Good for Oregon and for Mariota… Manziel could take a lesson and spend one more year developing his craft and becoming a better QB.

  6. oldforester says: Dec 3, 2013 7:00 PM

    Great decision for a great kid who any parent would be proud to have as a son. If integrity is a part of the Heisman, he wins hands down! You will never see this kid meeting with brokers in a hotel room signing memorabilia, or cheating on his girl friend, or waiting to determine if he did or didn’t commit a felony. He would never put himself in that position. You will find a story of him being out at 1am though, however, it was to go across campus to knock on a teammates door, checking in to see if his teammate was allright after his friend had a particularly bad day. Add character to integrity. Even after being injured he still has incredible numbers, and should get a trip to New York if integrity actually is a part of the Heisman. According to the latest Sagarin numbers Oregon played the 4th toughest schedule in college football. His numbers are impressive, but not as impressive as the kid himself.

  7. theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Dec 3, 2013 7:26 PM

    Can’t hate the kid, it’s his life he can do with it as he wants. It doesn’t hurt that in 2015 he will still be considered one of the top prospects with a weaker QB class

  8. thefiesty1 says: Dec 3, 2013 7:31 PM

    Good for him. It worked out ok for Peyton Manning. Not saying that he is the next Manning….

  9. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 3, 2013 7:49 PM

    thefiesty1 says: Dec 3, 2013 7:31 PM

    Good for him. It worked out ok for Peyton Manning. Not saying that he is the next Manning….
    ______________________

    It didn’t work out so well for Matt Leinart, Matt Barkley or Jake Locker….

    Not saying that I disagree with him staying, mostly because he’s not going to be the #1 overall pick or even the #1 QB taken, but there are plenty of examples of staying an extra year not working out.

  10. bowwserr says: Dec 3, 2013 7:53 PM

    Don’t mean to cross pollinate sports here, and forgive me if the comparison is off-mark, but Tim Duncan stayed all 4 years of college, ajd it didn’t work out too badly for him…there’s examples both ways for success and failure. Just gotta see how this works out for him in a year and in 5, 10, 15 years.

  11. reallythinkhere says: Dec 3, 2013 7:58 PM

    There is one thing that is being overlooked in all this talk that I think says something about the character of these guys. Grasu and Mariota decided TOGETHER and announced TOGETHER they were staying. The two players that work the most together on any team except maybe kicker/holder combos. Tells you something about how much they enjoy playing together.

  12. seattlelibtard says: Dec 3, 2013 8:20 PM

    He doesn’t want to play for Huston or Jacksonville.

  13. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 3, 2013 8:28 PM

    Next year he’ll probably be battling Winston for the #1 overall pick… whereas this year his mid 1st rounder at best. Might be a good decision even financially.

  14. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 3, 2013 8:30 PM

    seattlelibtard says: Dec 3, 2013 8:20 PM

    He doesn’t want to play for Huston or Jacksonville.
    __________________________

    If I were a top flight QB, I’d be licking my lips to go play for Houston….

    They are having a down year but that roster is littered with Probowlers. As a QB he’s get to throw to Andre Johnson and Nuk Hopkins and get to hand off to Arian Foster…. Not a lot of better situations to go to as a young QB in high overall pick situation….

  15. ebrownwareagle says: Dec 3, 2013 8:39 PM

    Leave now he would go Top 10-15 maybe earlier. There are some TERRIBLE QB’s in the League right now. And at Least 6 of the TOP 10 teams Picking are going to need A QB. JAX,HOU,MIN,TB,OAK,CLEV,TEN and possibly the RAMS. Not Many teams Next year will be in Need of a QB considering The fact they can cash in on one this year and may even get some cheap(one that got hurt) and come up that way. Next year could be a TOTALY DiFF beast for teams. this is the year of the QB. better Run wit IT!

  16. crazyfootballfun says: Dec 3, 2013 9:57 PM

    Both really good kids. I think both will benefit from staying another yr, MM more so than Grasu. Puts the Ducks right in the thick of things and i think they will have learned a few things from their losses this year..or at least i hope so. And bowser—classy comment, no reason for duck fans to diss you for cheering for your team.

  17. dolbythomas says: Dec 4, 2013 2:38 AM

    There is a lot of greatful fans who are thrilled to see that these two are sticking around. Also some other unfinished business. Like their degree which never gets hurt and never retires. Outstanding decision.

  18. mrsmell says: Dec 4, 2013 8:57 AM

    I really dont see a reason for him to stay unless education is a priority. If that is the case, good for him. If he is chasing money, this was the draft. He should be the #1/2 QB taken in the top 5 given teams like MIN, HOU, JAX, OAK, TEN.

  19. mogogo1 says: Dec 4, 2013 11:17 AM

    8to80texansblog says:

    It didn’t work out so well for Matt Leinart, Matt Barkley or Jake Locker….
    _____________

    I’m with you on Barkley, but Leinart and Locker were both still taken in the first 10 picks, so they weren’t hurt very badly if at all by staying another year.

    And while Barkley and Locker both saw their numbers drop in that final year, Leinart put up his best statistical season and may have actually improved his draft stock with that extra year.

  20. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 4, 2013 12:27 PM

    @mogogo1

    Leinart won a Heisman that year and was the concensus #1 overall pick. Locker was also considered the concensus #1 overall pick and both decided to stay and neither were picked in the top 5. Barkley was in a very similar situation while maybe not guaranteed the #1 pick he was definitely a top 5 pick.

    If you’re genuinely a top 5 pick… I don’t believe you should stay in school. It’s too big a risk #1 and #2 you can never earn that money back.

    In Mariota’s case, he’s definitely a 1st rounder but maybe middle of the first round and the 2nd QB behind Bridgewater, possibly the 3rd behind Manziel. So staying 1 more year may cement him in the top 5, in which case he may make that money he didn’t earn by playing pro this year back in just 1 year with the #1 overall contract.

  21. sovereen says: Dec 4, 2013 2:23 PM

    Becasue of the new collective bargaining agreement, the big payout is not with the first contract. Hone your craft, come into the league ready to go and kick butt for 3 years, then the riches will be yours son.

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