Eugene, Ore. – Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert says he’ll return for his senior season rather than enter the NFL Draft.
Herbert announced his decision Wednesday before the Ducks (8-4) left Eugene for the Redbox Bowl. Oregon plays Michigan State on Monday.
Herbert had been projected as the top quarterback in the NFL draft by multiple analysts. In his most recent Big Board, published on Dec. 12, ESPN's Mel Kiper had Herbert as the No. 1 QB and the No. 6 player overall.
“As we prepare for our bowl game, I would like to ensure that there are no distractions outside of this game. My commitment to my teammates, our coaches, Duck fans, and the university of Oregon has never been stronger,” Herbert said in a statement.
Herbert has thrown for 2,985 yards this season with 28 touchdowns. He has thrown at least one touchdown in 27 straight games, the longest current streak in the nation.
For his career at Oregon, Herbert has thrown for 6,904 yards and 62 touchdowns. The Ducks have averaged 39.4 points per game in his 27 career starts.
Next season he will be joined at Oregon by his brother, tight end Patrick Herbert, a four-star recruit from Eugene’s Sheldon High.
“We couldn’t be more excited for Justin to return for his senior season. He is a special talent on the field, but, more importantly, a special person and leader off the field,” coach Mario Cristobal said in a statement. “Being a native of Oregon, Justin wanted to make sure the announcement was made here in Eugene before we left for the bowl game.”